“Success isn’t complex. It lies in a masterful consistency around the fundamentals.”
Infinite number of articles have been published on being an entrepreneur, the risk-reward of being one, traits and characteristics of when-how-what needs to be accomplished to be a successful entrepreneur, the opportunities galore along with it. Many entrepreneurs have achieved significant to remarkable success by developing path-breaking concepts, creating a difference in the market place and society, and attaining intellectual satisfaction. If you analyze all those articles and all those entrepreneurs who achieved success you would be able to identify one common factor amongst them, and that is PERSISTENCE. With all those ifs-buts-and-doubts around their initiatives, they persisted against all odds to succeed in their venture.
Observing all those entrepreneurs and their success, here are some of the findings that would help in succeeding in your entrepreneurship journey. Though it may seem to be focusing the IT industry, these findings could be applied for any domain. Even as these factors are being highlighted and impressed upon by every thought leader and seem to be quite simple and obvious ones, it has been followed through rarely by most of the entrepreneurs. Interestingly, these factors can be easily found with the successful entrepreneurs.
Understand Your Market and Stay Focused
To build a successful company, you need a great product. But a great product does not lead to success by itself.
Building a product would ensure the company is set to have a clear focus on its business, market and the customers. This would lead the company to innovate in the specialized domain with new concepts, new way of doing business and all-star customer experience, and create a difference. However the great product alone would not lead the company to success, unless it has a clear roadmap strategy to adapt to the evolving technology, changing market conditions and customer expectations.
You can have the right product for the wrong market and fail. And, you can have the right product for the right market and still fail, because no one knows you exist.
Needless to say, in the game of demand-supply the product and market should match to succeed. However, it’s just not enough to create the right product for the right market. It is important to create the visibility of the product and the awareness among the right customers. Unless visibility is created to showcase the existence of the product, its applicability and effectiveness, its relevance to the market and consumers, all efforts involved in creating that product would come to a naught.
You can also be on the road to success, and wake up one day to find the market has changed, and you have not adapted.
At every stage of your business, you should stay focused on the market. Customer expectations are constantly shifting. You should be where your customers want to be tomorrow. Markets evolve rapidly, and so do technology. “Kodak and Nokia moments” can come to any business at any time in any market conditions. You should be able to transform as the market and customer expectations change. You should stay focused and stay current to adapt and spot the opportunities to successfully navigate through the transformation phases. Your obsession over product and services or passion for a particular technology should not become a show-stopper for your business transformation. In an era of always-on transformation, always keep evolving. If you stop evolving you would become obsolete.
Understand Customer Needs
Lack of customer validation is the biggest cause of start-up failure
Many of the start-up companies focus on technology than the customers. Consumerism has shown that businesses cannot succeed with technology alone. No matter how good your technology is to the business, there is no assurance your consumers will use them as you envisage. Studies show that 90% of the mobile phone users do not even use 10% of the features provided.
Learning customer needs is more important than revenue for a start-up
Revenue does not build traction for a business. Revenue is important, but more important for a start-up is to be in touch with customers to learn and understand their often changing needs and expectations. If the solution is efficient in meeting customer expectations, it would build the revenue flow quite smoothly.
Needed: Tested and proven products that customers are ready to buy and that you can sell and deliver profitability.
Social media influenced and socially conscious mind-set of millennials is crucial to your business, and baby-boomers have a different way of doing business than the millennials. Your product or service should cater to all consumers irrespective of categories. The technology and solution should be able to meet the customer needs, as all that customers really want is just the stuff that works and makes their life easier. If the product is focused at a select business domain, it should be able to address the needs of the business functions in its entirety.
Selling: The Single Most Important Skill
Your Goal is to fulfil the buyers personal needs
Whatever be the product or service or domain, your solution should fulfil your customer’s needs, both tangible and intangible, and the approach should be customer-centric.
To understand and satisfy the needs of customers, you should:
– Understand why people buy
– Understand their need to win
– Understand what they need
Craft your message based on customer needs
Your communication with customers influences the customer and business relationship, and brings new value chains. Your message should be clear and concise to say how your solution meets the customers’ needs and expectations in a way customer could understand easily.
Develop the most important sales skill
As an entrepreneur you should develop the sales skill which is very vital for your business. You should be able to effectively convince the customers so that they can buy from you.
– Be credible and competent
– Know your stuff or team up with someone who does
– Have testimonials from other customers
Be trustworthy, be honest and stay positive
To sell your product you should build trust with your customer. For customer to trust you, you should be honest and transparent in dealing with them. Neither wrong nor exaggerated-unrealistic information can you provide to your customers. You should be positive by being optimistic and confident, and understand emotional quotient of your customers to boost your business influence.
Talk in a way that customers understand and which fulfills their interests and need, not yours. You should be able to simplify the complexity of the customer’s needs and expectations in their perspective and be able to persuade them quite easily.
Build customer empathy that will have an influence in both improved relationships and better product development. Understanding the motivations and emotions of your customers may be hard, but those factors are very important to build a strong customer base for your business.
Read More: Linked In