As a founder, you must conduct the following early market research:
- Conduct 25 interviews with representatives of your company's future target audience.
- Obtain five (5) Letters of Intent (LOI) with individuals who have agreed to be beta users of your new product/service.
- The interviews and LOIs are to be completed over 90 days.
Why is it so important to talk with customers?
As a founder, you must strongly understand your target market. Knowing your future customer means having a general knowledge of the landscape your solution is working to solve and learning your potential customers inside and out. The best way to gain this type of understanding is to have conversations with leaders in your target audience.
By doing this, you'll be able to learn as much as possible about potential customers with the least effort. Additionally, these conversations will help you develop a strong marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your target market effectively. Ultimately, taking the time to chat with leaders in your target audience is essential in creating a successful startup business.
You must always consider your customers and how to serve their needs better. One great way to do this is to interview them and ask about their pain points. Pain points can use this information to fine-tune your product's key features and make sure you're prioritizing the right things. It can also help you develop a roadmap for when you're ready to launch your company. These interviews will create excitement for your product and help you better understand your market.
How to find your first 1,000 customers?
One of the best ways to gather insights about your startup business is to interview your target market. Understanding the market will help you understand your customers' needs and perceptions of your brand. However, finding people willing and able to provide honest feedback can be challenging. In addition, a startup business's founder may have difficulty finding unbiased input from family and friends, so looking for potential interviewees outside of those close circles is essential.
Social media, online searches, networking events, and industry associations are great places to find potential interviewees. When reaching out, be clear about what you're looking for and why their feedback is valuable. You can collect invaluable insights that will help you better serve your customers and grow your business with a little effort.
- Conduct a search on Facebook for any keywords that match your target audience and join any groups regarding that subject. Then, start engaging in topics to find connections with similar interests. Can't find an existing group? Start your own.
- Search for business pages on LinkedIn whose employees may represent your target audience and reach out to these individuals.
- Research organizations within your state, city, county, etc. that help with Small Business initiatives and reach out to them for introductions and connections. The Chamber of Commerce or other Business focused groups may have networking functions where you can meet other members.
- Ask friends and family to make introductions to their connections.
What to ask
As the founder of a new startup business, it is essential to have a plan before conducting customer interviews. A plan will allow you to be as efficient as possible with your time. Develop a list of questions specific to your product/solution to help you identify the key features most important to customers when they engage with your new product/company. Please explain your idea to the contact and ask for their honest feedback. Try to obtain information on competitive pricing and their likes/dislikes about similar products on the market. This research will be vital as you develop your marketing strategy and position your brand in the marketplace.
It's essential to get your new product in front of potential customers and market it to them effectively. One way to do this is by asking your interviewees if they would be interested in becoming beta users of your product. It involves obtaining a letter of intent from them outlining their willingness to test your product and provide feedback. Five (5) adapters for your product will give you a good starting point for marketing and branding your business. It's also an excellent way to gauge customer interest and get feedback that can help improve your product. So if you're a startup founder, don't forget to ask your interviewees if they want to become beta users!