Phase 3 – Customer Creation
Proof of Sales phase is followed by Customer Creation phase. Here we step across the chasm; we overcome the gap and reach out for an image. It mainly involves strategy, not tactics.
- Increase the number of customers
- 4 steps to build a client base
- One year goals
- Demand Stimulation
The creation of demand requires different approaches in three market types
- Are there presently customers who want the highest performance?
- is there, at the present moment, a scalable business model?
- Is there a defensible, an Unfair Advantage keyword, which can help you compete against the established market players?
Lower Market Segment
- Are there customers in the lower market segment, who would like to buy a product that may be inferior in terms of functionality but “good enough” to solve their problem as long as the price is low enough?
- Is there a profitable company in this segment?
- Are there any barriers that would not allow competing with the established market players?
- Are there in the existing market customers who would buy a product if this product could address their specific need, in a situation when the prices are similar, or when the price is higher than of the currently available alternatives?
- Is there a secure business model currently available?
- Are there barriers as compared to the competition represented by the current market leaders?
Do customers have to go to some inconvenient centralized place?
Are there barriers as compared to the competition represented by the current market players?
Phase 4 – Company Building
Here we are actually creating the organization and management of our new business and, once again, we look carefully at our mission.
- As the company is expanding management has to undergo change as well
- Sales growth hast o fit the market type
In this phase you need focus. Does your sales growth plan fit into the canvas of the market type you are working in and do we have a mission oriented culture?
3 Reasons for Customer Development
Okay, you have this special mind-blowing idea. You’re super excited about it and you expect to raise serious money from it and you believe will change the world. You want to breathe a new life into your vision.
I have to say, customer development is pretty hard. You will have to go out and talk to your customers a lot. It is time consuming and requires you to step out of your comfort zone. You understandably don’t want to be proven wrong.
From a number of truly relevant reasons to practice customer development I chose three most important for me and you.
Avoid spending time and money developing something no one wants
Starting your own company requires a significant amount of time and money. It doesn’t matter whether you are going to provide your services as a freelancer or sole proprietor, or you want to get some product at the initial stage. Life is short and money is often in short supply, so you don’t want to waste any of that. It may turn out that you can’t get to talk with this or that customer anymore. That’s frustrating, of course.
But you know what will be really frustrating to find out in the end? That you have spent a bunch of time and money on a business with no potential!
Gain insights to help you build the most valuable product possible
If you already have an outline of a product, customer development can help you to develop it into a fully-fledged “dream come true” for your customer. Your initial hypotheses are often only about little percentage correct , and to make things work you really have to in-build your customer into the development process.
Get some ideas for you startup, projects, products and services
Customer development is designed for and used to test ideas. In any conversation with our potential customers we should stay attentive and focused, listen carefully. This way you will probably hear and understand what your business, product or service should look like. When you ask the right questions, you have people talk about their issues, challenges and pains; you start to better understand their needs and how your product or service can satisfy those needs.
Sitting in a quiet chamber and developing “genius” ideas does not bring you anywhere. Let us learn to develop products and services in a dialogue with customers
where we can ask a lot of questions.