So, you’ve sold your product to your first client? The client is extending you to other industry verticals too! Revenue has just started coming for your business! All is well that ends well! Hence, you think this is the ideal market fit for my business.
I’ve finally found it. Now, I am not saying you are wrong. But you are not entirely correct too! Breaking the topmost myth about Product-Market Fit: It is not a one-time process. You need to re-define the value of your product and reiterate the product’s design every now and then.
After that, either your market fit can expand or lessen, depending on the consumer’s need. Creating a win-win situation for your customer and you, is tough to imagine and implement, but once done, gives you a long term and faithful customer. And soon after, comes your recurring revenue! And at last, money really matters! It matters for your business.
So, the question you are asking right now is, ‘How to find the ideal market fit for my business?’ Or, ‘What if I don’t find it? Well, there are some efforts you need to take so your market niche will come calling out to you!
Create a Minimum Viable Product First
Instead of rushing with your product development, just so you can launch your product on a specific date, spend time in creating a lean design that will be completed much easily and quickly. A Huge amount of research goes into just building a prototype that works.
This research is important for you so that when you look back on your initial designs, you know where you have reached and where else further you need to go!
This phase is important for you to understand the exact pain points your product will be solving and the person it is solving that for.
Often people just create a solution for a problem that nobody in the universe is having. What’s the use? How will such a product have even a niche, let alone an ideal market fit?
It is extremely necessary that before you invest all your money into your newly made product, you find out which individual’s problem is this solving? Is it useful enough?
Will it provide the required needs that customers will demand? All of these and a host of other questions. Make sure you answer all of them an create a credible MVP of your product.
Determine Your Target Customer
And after that, don’t let them go! For obvious underlying reasons, it’s okay, but if a customer leaves you because of the product, your pet also knows it’s a bad sign!
A theory that works practically, in this case, is ‘Market Segmentation’. Divide the market into different verticals you think your product is useful for.
Next, align the pain points in each industry. Also, look for the solutions given for those pain points prior to your product.
Were they good enough? Were they solving the problem? Why did they not work? What can you learn from their failures?
This stage of your business will help you get connections and just know which people to go after. Try to just talk to them and not pitch your idea.
Try to have intellectual conversations without telling them that you can solve a certain problem. Just get people to like your Demeanour. Enrich them with your credibility so they keep coming back to you if not just to buy your product, then at least support you at events and other engagements!
If it is a little tough for you, try asking an expert online or arrange a meeting! They might give you a new perspective from which your mind would start thinking on a different level!
Don’t Forget to Interview Your Customer
When you’ve got a few people using your product and understanding how it works, don’t get happy just yet!
Customer review and constructive feedback are what will help you to find the ideal market for your business.
Try engaging customers in one on one interview sessions and ask reasonable questions. Yes or No type questions won’t work ever. All you do is ask questions and take notes. Take rigorous notes!
Next, you go home, gather all this information in one place and read it as much as you can. Now, the next day is the time to implement, all the feasible solutions you found out and improve your product, slowly and steadily.
Use screeners, i.e., short surveys for getting customer feedback on a large scale. Keep following this procedure of Screen, improve, screen and repeat until your product comes out in its purest form.
Establish the Credibility of Your Brand
An Ideal Market fit refers to the ability of a market to sustain your business and the ability of your product to meet the needs of that market.
To continue in this ideal market, the credibility of your customers is essential. So, how to build that? That’s even more important than building your product as you are the face that will sell your product.
Your customer needs to recognize and trust that face from far off. Now, implementing this might be reminiscent of selling your product. You’re just selling yourself for now.
Remove your habit of pitching about your product constantly and go on to listen to your potential customers. Just hear them out!
Once, they see that you have the patience to go through their side of the story, they will be sure of investing time and money in your product.
Also, when you build such a trustworthy network of clients, it will be very easy for you to scale your product across verticals or geographies.
People refer you to other good people and that’s how your business will grow. Now, when you have shouting customers waiting for your product. More demand than supply! You can proudly say you have found your ideal market fit!
Know Who’s Got Your Money
The ones you will compete with, find their portfolios and again, take out your pen and diary and sit down to research!
Find their ideal market fit, their customers, their product iterations, their way of working, their company’s in an out, their office address, perhaps, Wait! No this! Don’t stalk them.
Just research! Your competitor’s product can really make or break your business. No, don’t start a fight or a war perhaps but just keep an eye on what’s going on I the market.
Everything is available on the internet now. Just Google your competitor’s product out!
Always identify the market where your customer was going to go but could not. Or a market that is unexplored for them. That would be similar to finding a gold mine for you.
It will even take time. However, once you identify the gap, you can start filling it. There you go! You are so close to finding the ideal market fit for your business.
Manage Your Knowledge
Now, that you are almost at the finish line, what do you do with all this data you’ve found about your ideal market? You preserve it! Keep it for when you need your research at times.
Even use a Knowledge management software for this purpose if manually it’s becoming a mess!
This research will also support you in finding the best value proposition for your business. In turn, this value will help you to outperform your competitors.
Value’ is another big word you need to find for your business. It’s right after the market fit.
The value you give to your customers will be directly proportional to the retention you will get for your business. Hence, recurring revenue won’t be no more of a big deal for you.
After finding your spot in the market, just fix your seat and keep moving on. Find better seats, even sofas for placing your product and team!
Myths About the ‘Ideal Market Fit’
Trust me, there are a bunch of them!
- Ideal market fit is static and not dynamic
- You’ll know it when you’ll get it
- It’s the last step in your Product Development
- It’s a one-time thing
- Money is all that counts, not value or niche
- Your ideal market fit is the toughest to figure out
- Ideal market fit should be looked for only after your product is developed
- Finding the ideal market fit makes no difference to your revenue
- Once a customer, always a customer
- Just start selling to anybody and it will happen for you
- Ideal Market fit is where your first customer is
Initial Research work can be outsourced. No, it really cannot! You might have even said these to somebody at some point in time. Better you correct yourself as these are just myths. You need to accept the market as harsh as it is and improve according to the judgement.
Avoid such rookie mistakes and keep working on finding your ideal market fit till the end! Never stop until your product is well improved and executed with customer feedback