More and more I’m hearing that business owners start their business because they have an idea that piques their passion. They develop it, refine it and make it. And then hesitate to sell it. They make what they want to make and get lost in the weeds and don’t look up to ask a very important question: Is this solving a real problem people are facing now? Which translates into, is there a viable market for my thingamajig?
you tell yourself.
“I like it,”
But will anyone actually buy it?
Not asking the fundamental question of am I solving a real problem means you’re developing a product in search of a problem to solve. That is a very, very tough path to take. More often than not, it leads to disappointment and failure.
On top of this, most of us suck at sales. Most of us are afraid to ask others to buy what we’re making. This stems from a fear of rejection. That if someone doesn’t buy our thingy then it means we’re less of a person. Which is total hogwash. No one cares. No one thinks about you as person in connection with your product. Get over it.
What they care about is whether your thingy does something that makes their life better. They only care about themselves.
You will save yourself much pain, suffering and money if you evaluate your big idea against what your customer wants. Do you even know who your customer is? Do you know what makes them tick? Their hopes, dreams and interests?
Who’s your customer?
Will they want my thingy?
Two very simple questions. Yet why do so many neglect to ask them? We get caught up in our idea. We connect our self worth to our idea. And forget about the business case. Along these lines we also often inject feature and scope creep tweaking our product without asking whether these additional features matter. Again, a simple question that will save much time and money.
And as for sales? You’ll have a much easier time selling if you design and produce something that fulfills a compelling want and a need. Selling becomes fun when you can demonstrate how you’ll make someone’s life better. It makes it easier to cut through the noise because you’ve leaped over all of those useless products that don’t. And you’ll have a much easier time selling if you disconnect your self worth from your product. Because they’re not at all connected. Except in your head.
Wondering now how you can find your customer? Build a simple landing page with a promise, promote it and see how people respond. Talk to people you think are your customer. Ask them if this matters. Ask them how it can be more useful to them. And then build that thing. Test and iterate based on insights from REAL CUSTOMERS.
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