In this Blog series, the mytalu Team will share some of the lessons they have learned from the journey so far in the hope that any budding entrepreneurs out there will have the foot-up that they need to get going and make inroads into their own start-up journey.
In this blog we will start at the beginning with the customer.
The customer is the single most important component – these are the questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do customers exist? – Many, many start-ups fail because they didn’t ask this question when they started. Beginning with an idea and trying to find a customer is the wrong way to go about this.
- Is this an actual problem? You know that customers exist but do they actually have a pain point at present? Are you trying to solve something that is a quantifiable issue for the customer base or are you overestimating the depth/severity of the problem?
- Is your solution any different from a competitor’s? – Often there will be incumbents in the space you want to compete in. This alone is not necessarily a bad thing – it shows there is a customer base and a market segment that can be disrupted. However, if you aren’t offering anything tangibly different/unique/better than the competitor out there, how are you going to capture a share of the market?
- If you have a customer base, with a clearly defined pain point, and a clearly differentiated proposition you might be onto something. Above all else, you need to make sure this isn’t all hypothetical. The most important thing is constantly engaging with and talking with your potential customers. FEEDBACK IS KEY! This is a never-ending process. Engage, learn, receive feedback, iterate, improve, engage… and so on. The customer is the one who will end up buying your product or service. Therefore, it stands to reason that they are the one that helps shape the journey.
- At this stage, it is wholly conceivable that you have too much information. In your mind, you might have the most perfect solution formed in your head. DO NOT AIM FOR PERFECTION. Right now, your aim is to get an MVP out into the world that hits the salient points. It is okay for this to be rough around the edges. If you have been engaging with your customer base, by now you will have found a group of early users/early adopters that are willing to buy into the long-term vision and are happy to be early advocates.
To recap; Do not start with an idea – start with the customer and think of them as partners on this journey, not isolated individuals separated from your business. Customers are your everything – they make or break the success of the business.