Asking the right question
As a startup consultant I get asked a lot of questions, but sometimes I get things that are a little off target. Asking the right question is critical for staying on target, especially when a new company is navigating unfamiliar waters. Don’t get me wrong, I love curiosity and when clients are inquisitive but I also think directing feedback is very important.
Occasionally I get asked if a new business idea is ‘a good idea.’ Is that the right question? 99% of the time it really doesn’t matter because I’m not the target market for a business idea. Yes I see a lot of ideas come my way but I have a hard time convincing entrepreneurs that my perception is irrelevant. But I turn it around and emphasize that if I were the market that would buy the product/service/offering then yes it would matter what I thought.
It really comes down to focusing on who would be a potential buyer/user is and seeking structured feedback about the market need and their opinions about what the best solution is. If I’m the target market then great, I’ll talk with you all morning about my experiences and perceptions. If I’m not, then it isn’t valuable to put too much stock into my opinion as I won’t buy. When the market votes with its dollars then yes, take that seriously. But don’t build a business concept around opinions that aren’t potential buyers.
Build the idea around the wants, needs, and desires of the potential buyers. That way you can adjust your offering to be the best solution your market needs and stay ahead of the competition. There are ways to solicit feedback from a market segment, that I can help with. Find out what the competition offers and based on feedback, build a better offering that will excite your users and clients. Standing out is important because there are many businesses that create sub par solutions and compete on price. If you offer something great then your customers can have something to talk about.
So direct your questions to the right segments, ask things that will give insight to the existing need and build something your customers will get excited about. Many industries have competition that is building average and sub par offerings, if you can build a product or service that is unique and addresses nuances that don’t exist then people can go to you for a solution that is better than most. That’s how to effectively compete and stand out. And for small biz asking the right questions will get you there faster. Let me know how I can help with this.