The startup is a beautiful one Thing. It is the embodiment of an idea born in the garage or behind a handkerchief. But ask any founder what their startup really proves, and they will say almost immediately when they win their first customer.
It’s easier than that, though, because winning that first customer will take a lot more than an Ivy-educated founder and / or celebrity investor pool.
Initially, you need to create a strong ideal customer profile to know your customer’s pain issues, while developing competitive SWOT analysis to give scope to the options your customers can go to.
Your target customer will choose a solution that will help them achieve their goals. In other words, your goals should be aligned with your customer’s goals.
You’ll also need to make a short list of influencers who trust your customer, identify their decision makers who call (or not) to make a purchase, and create a mapped list of goals that set your customers’ goals for you.
Understanding and implementing these matters can guarantee you that the first customer wins, if you do them well and honestly. Your investors will also see the fruits of your labor and be comfortable knowing that their dollars are on good work.
Let’s see how:
1. Create an ideal customer profile (ICP)
ICP is a great framework for finding out who your target customer is, how big they are, where they work and why they exist. As you write down your ICP, the pain issues you assume about them will soon begin to become more real.
To create an ICP, you need to have a strong explanation of the problem you are trying to solve and the customers who experience the most of the problem. This will be your baseline hypothesis. Then, as you develop your ICP, keep testing your baseline hypothesis to eliminate inaccurate assumptions.
The crystal clear here will set you up with the right launchpad. No shortcuts.
Here’s how to get started:
- Develop an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) framework.
- Identify three target customers corresponding to your designated ICP.
- Write a problem statement for each identified target customer.
- Prefer the problem statement that resonates the most with your product.
- The goal of the priority problem statement is to lock the customer.
Practice use case:
You’re a co-founder at the upcoming SaaS startup, which focuses on simplifying the shopping experience in a car showroom so buyers enjoy the process. What will your ICP look like?
2. Develop SWOT
The SWOT framework cannot be overrated. This is a great way to clarify who your competitors are and how you perform against them. Note that your competitors may be direct or indirect (as an option), and it is important to categorize these buckets correctly.