You are an entrepreneur with an amazing business idea. The first step is research and laying out a business plan to develop your idea further and, basically, get the ball rolling. Now what? Do you just dig in and start developing? Most often that is what happens. You become extremely busy designing and developing and building from the administrative end. So, what happens when your “shop doors” open? Do customers immediately start buying?
Doing it ‘Old School’
There is the old business school concept that first you will get the innovators and early adapters coming in to buy. Then the early majority will come, followed by the late majority. Let’s focus on your innovators and early adopters. They will be the driving force behind bringing the latter groups on board. Do they like the product/service you offer? Do they leave shortly afterward?
Check….and check again!
The actual success of your business is highly dependent on the steps you take before you open your doors to the public. Most often, there is a beta testing period, checking how the audience you are targeting reacts. This is also relevant for those who are already in business. Your doors may already be open, but you should think in terms of the potential you may be missing out on.
Don’t miss your target
Think of yourself as a scientist testing your hypothesis. It is a challenge to put aside your personal bias that what you’ve created is amazing and will be needed by everyone. This kind of thinking can really extend your development period as you try and test over and over again, not really understanding why your customers aren’t taking to your product/service.
Ok, so that is a more extreme example. Most business owners understand that they need to get customer reviews to test their product and make sure they are on track. However, most fail to really spend the time to develop their communications with their customers, not only at the beginning, but on an on-going basis….for as long as you are in business. Why? Because your customers change and so must you.
Why is this so important?
I’m in business and doing just fine, you say… That may be the case. And excellent if it is! You never know what potential need you are missing out on and may one day wake up to find that everything has shifted from under you.
If it takes too much of your time, it may even be worth it to bring someone on board to focus 100% on talking with customers.
It’s definitely worth it:
- Stay up-to-date with the trends.
- Let your customers help you be innovative.
- Create customer loyalty through special personalized treatment.
- Take care of those who are not happy with your product/service.
What comes around goes around, as the saying goes. Take care of your customers (listen and respond) and they will take care of you.