It Starts With The Customer

Every business needs them. Let’s talk about the customer first.

Every business needs them and can’t exist long without them, so let’s think about them first.

The key questions are:

  1. Who are they, specifically, sometimes even by name or single organization?
  2. What problem are you solving for them?
  3. How much are they willing to pay to solve this problem?
  4. What is the timeline or location expected?
  5. How do they measure quality, progress, or success in buying a solution to their problem?
  6. How is this customer solving this problem today? Is it with your competitor, and if so, what will you do to differentiate yourself from that competitor?
  7. How does the customer pay for the solution and how will you deliver your product or service to them?
  8. What relationship will you want to form as you serve that customer at each stage of the purchase from initial contact, sales, delivery, and support?

All of these questions could effect how you structure your product or service and could also affect how you run your business.

In the end, without happy, paying, lasting customers, you have no business and you won’t be in business for long.

The other elements of the Business Plan are important, but none are more important than knowing your customer.

There’s more to know, so look for more in you competition’s publications and in how your customer satisfies THEIR customer, too.

Author: Jim McLaughlin

Aerospace Engineer & Mathematician, Retired Senior Manager – Boeing, R&D Program Management, Innovation Process & Strategy, Prior (Failed) Candidate for State Representative, Consultant to Small Businesses, SBIR and Aerospace R&D opportunity pursuit, Program & proposal management, Business & product strategy, Researcher, Writer, Presenter, Creativity Techniques, Entrepreneurship Mentoring

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