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Your product matters. Whether it’s a physical product or a service, it’s your baby. You’ve invested hours, love, money and a whole heap of effort in to it. So why should you listen to someone telling you that customers are more important? Well, hear us out.


It’s about sustainable growth

There’s a great deal to be said for everything you’ve invested in your product. It’s got you to where you are now. You may even feel that your business is synonymous with your product.

However, there comes a problem when the focus is on the product at the exclusion of all else. What happens is that you become introspective.

Think back to your product’s conception. In its infancy you will have identified a USP, something utterly unique and beguiling about your offering. You saw a market for it and went out to fill the gap. You were outward-looking asking what your customer or client needed.

Then you got to work. You did your market research. You developed and you refined.

However, at some point, the product itself became the focus and you stopped looking outward. You obsessed over the product and in so doing, you stopped looking so closely at your customers.


Your market really matters

Your market is everything. It’s actually more important than the product itself, which is why meeting customer needs is on par with the production of the product itself. You need to be solving their problem, so that problem needs to exist.

This situation isn’t unique to any particular industry. We see it with restaurants as much as we see it with tech start-ups. The love of the product or service has blinded the business from actually choosing to meet the customer’s needs and expectations.

If you’ve got a refined and incredible product but are failing to make sales, perhaps you need to be honest. Have you lost sight of your market and your customer somewhere along the way? How can you regain a focus on them?

This is a big issue. A report by CBInsights found that a staggering 42% of businesses fail because there was no market need for them. You ignore customer needs at your peril.


How to understand customer need

So, it’s back to the drawing board. It’s time to get up close and personal with your customer and find out exactly what they need.

The key is finding out a pain point that your customer experiences that no one is adequately easing yet. That will be your way back in. You need to tip your current thinking on its head. Instead of looking for a market for your product, you need to find the market and then make the product they need.

The only way to do this is to wave goodbye to introspection and get researching with an outward focus once more.


Meeting customer needs as a start-up

What’s great is that start-ups and entrepreneurs are actually in a fantastic position to exploit this opportunity. You’re more flexible, more able to adapt and more able to serve.

Just remember, once you’ve identified the customer need and formulated the product to fit the gap, never stop looking outwards.

What steps do you take to ensure you keep focus on your customer’s needs? Drop a comment below or come and join the conversation over on Twitter.

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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