“Make your judgement trustworthy by trusting it.”
Eric Braun, an advisor of the Summer Venture Program, spoke with our entrepreneurs all about the importance of customer discovery and understanding your assumptions. The only way you can trust your judgments about your customers is by testing them. Take all your hypotheses about your business model and test them in front of your customers (yes, talk to your customers!).
Eric explained that before you demo your product, you must validate your customers’ problems. Be sure to understand not only the issues your customers face, but also what is needed to relieve their pains. A tip that Eric proposed is you should only demo your product or service if it alleviates a problem for the customer.
Other than doing a product demo, customer interviews is a great way to gain insight into your product. Eric had our entrepreneurs practice this during his lunch and learn. The teams created 5-10 customer questions geared towards validating their startup position and product value. Our teams then went on to ask each other these questions in a short 10-minute activity. This proved to be very effective and useful for our startups as it helped them practice customer interviews for the future.
After concluding the interactive piece of his presentation, Eric gave 5 recommendations for when delving into customer discovery:
- Keep your idea simple. This allows for everyone to not only understand your product, but it also helps ease the decision-making process for your customer.
- Identify your best, first market (also known as your Beach head market). This will help you maintain focus and locate areas of expansion. Spend your time and resources on the easiest market first, and then expand afterwards.
- Alleviate their pains and achieve their gains. Make sure that your value proposition aligns with and answers their customer needs and problems. Your business should help your customer accomplish the things they want to achieve all while lessening any pains.
- Don’t duplicate the wheel. Know and understand your competition so that you can properly differentiate your business and highlight its uniqueness. You don’t want to just copy your competition, you want to do it better!
- Value = Price. Set the price of your product according to how much your customer’s value it.
Overall our entrepreneurs gained invaluable insight and knowledge into the world of customer development and discovery.
Save the date for the Summer Venture Showcase: Thursday July 26. Follow all SVP happenings on Twitter and Instagram with #babsonsvp!