Category Archives: Business

Startups need to understand their core product value

The Lean Startup teaches us to roll out MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) as soon as possible and to iterate based on customer/user feedback until we find something that people want. That is a great methodology, however how often do startup founders really understand exactly why users are using their product.  Founders don’t spend time identifying what their users are gaining from their product and what their core product value is. The answers to these questions are far too often skimmed over and missed in exchange for optimization of users, revenue, k-factors or even new product/feature creations. Understanding exactly where you fit in the market, what value you are offering to users and how they are responding to it are important metrics to be measuring.

It is often very difficult to measure true product or market fit. How do you definitively identify why users are using your product as opposed to a competitor’s? How do you find out what users are gaining by using/purchasing your product? The key here is to truly understand your users by implementing surveys, customer cohort analysis and even speaking to users directly.

The first thing you need to determine is who you should be talking to. You want to find out who your most engaged customers are and why they are so engaged. To do this you can ask them this question:

How would you feel if you could no longer use “this product”?

  1. Very disappointed
  2. Somewhat disappointed
  3. Not disappointed
  4. N/A – I no longer use it

For this purpose you are interested in the people who select “Very disappointed”. This means for these users, your company and product is doing something right and they are gaining real value from what you are offering.

Once you have run this survey and identified who your most engaged users are, now it’s time to identify why they are engaged and what is engaging them. Segment your users to only the users who selected “Very disappointed” and get them to answer this question:

What is the primary benefit you received from “this product”?

You can start with an open ended question where users enter in their answer. As soon as you see some trends turn them into multiple choice answers and change the format of the question so your data will be a lot more meaningful. This will provide you with your “must have experience” and “aha moment”.

Once you have identified what people love about your product you can then go into why that benefit is so important to them. Ask your users this question:

Why did you select that benefit as your favourite? 

Leave this question open ended and the answers you’ll get back will provide you with huge insight into what you should be optimizing. It will tell you what type of users you should be optimizing for and what product changes you should be making to ensure you improve and maintain the “aha moment”. 

Success with Referral Businesses

Lately I have been reading a great book about referral marketing and business. The concept reminds me of social networking and works with the same fundamentals.
These are five critical skills you need to build a successful referral business both online and offline.
1)Adopt a Referral Mindset
You must adopt a referral mindset and understand that referrals will be your main way for acquiring new business.  Once you truly understand and adopt this way of thinking you everything you do in your business will be to promote your goal of getting more high quality clients.
2)Enhance Your Referability
You must serve your clients and customers extremely well.  The most important thing for you to remember is that your client’s satisfaction is crucial as their way of saying “thank you” is to come back for more business or refer you more business.  Your main business mission should be to keep your clients happy and continue to get them to say “thank you”.
3)Prospect For Referrals
Clients aren’t made equal. As a business owner basing your business around referrals you need to be able to scope out client and see how they will be able to benefit you in the future on not just in that single transaction. Many business people are excellent at serving clients but that is just not enough you need to nurture your relationships to build continuous flows of referral prospects both online and offline.
4)Network Strategically
Having a business based on referrals does not mean that you can only get referrals from satisfied clients. Many referrals will come from strong relationships that you build both within and outside your business. If you can network strategically you will be able to reap the benefits again and again without traditional advertising or marketing costs.
5)Target Niche Markets
Just like any Internet business it is always great to narrow your market and become the “best” within your industry. If you can dominate your industry, referral marketing will be the most effective and easiest way to build a massively successful business.
I hope these 5 skills will be able to help you out to build a business that will have more clients thank you can handle. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Lately I have been reading a great book about referral marketing and business. The concept reminds me of social networking and works with the same fundamentals.

These are five critical skills you need to build a successful referral business both online and offline.

1)Adopt a Referral Mindset

You must adopt a referral mindset and understand that referrals will be your main way for acquiring new business.  Once you truly understand and adopt this way of thinking you everything you do in your business will be to promote your goal of getting more high quality clients.

2)Enhance Your Referability

You must serve your clients and customers extremely well.  The most important thing for you to remember is that your client’s satisfaction is crucial as their way of saying “thank you” is to come back for more business or refer you more business.  Your main business mission should be to keep your clients happy and continue to get them to say “thank you”.

3)Prospect For Referrals

Clients aren’t made equal. As a business owner basing your business around referrals you need to be able to scope out client and see how they will be able to benefit you in the future on not just in that single transaction. Many business people are excellent at serving clients but that is just not enough you need to nurture your relationships to build continuous flows of referral prospects both online and offline.

4)Network Strategically

Having a business based on referrals does not mean that you can only get referrals from satisfied clients. Many referrals will come from strong relationships that you build both within and outside your business. If you can network strategically you will be able to reap the benefits again and again without traditional advertising or marketing costs.

5)Target Niche Markets

Just like any Internet business it is always great to narrow your market and become the “best” within your industry. If you can dominate your industry, referral marketing will be the most effective and easiest way to build a massively successful business.

I hope these 5 skills will be able to help you out to build a business that will have more clients thank you can handle. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.