How changing the way you look at customers creates the opportunity to build a scalable business
By Pavlo Phitidis
Ultimately, the way you look at the world is the way that the world will turn out to be for you. Just as perspective drives experience, how you define your customer will drive the growth of your business. It’s an incredibly difficult, but highly critical, task that many business owners get wrong – they focus on their product and service, rather than solving their customers’ problems. Defining your customer correctly is critical, if you want to build a scalable business. On this week’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we outlined the five things you must get right:
Understand that you can’t build a business in the same way that you started it
During the first phase of growing your business, you must hustle, to attract customers, establish your business in the marketplace, and get started. Very quickly, you’ll learn that your business plan won’t transpire to become reality, and the people you expected to service as customers, are most likely not the customers you’re now serving. But, as your business matures, that hustling approach won’t work, and you’ll need to conduct business differently, to ensure you’re able to serve all your customers well.
You’ll need to change your products or services to offer what’s needed, not what you already have
This is a difficult task, because your passion for this growing business was – most likely – ignited by your love for the products and services you’re able to offer to customers. Those products and services may not solve people’s problems though, so you’ll need to adjust what you have on offer, to make them essential problem-solvers for your customer groups.
Learn to say no, sometimes
Of course, you want to be able to solve every single one of your customers’ problems, but it’s not possible for you to do so – you can’t be everything, to everyone. Avoid the temptation of trying to be, by focusing closely on the problems your business solves for customers, and ensuring your products and services do so effectively.
This seems so obvious, but it’s not so easy. Truly getting to know and understanding your customers takes time and skill, and you’ll need to listen closely, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. Engage with your customers by asking open-ended questions around the problems your product solves, and the ones your customers face. Ask, without pushing your product, and learn more about how their problems come about.
Continue tweaking, testing and rebuilding
Building a business is a journey – there is no final destination when you’re building an asset of value. Begin by understanding a few of your customer groups or personas, and build effective systems that serve them well. Thereafter, you can look towards attracting new customer groups. Try a new approach with a similar type of customer group, or test a new offering with them. Incrementally, over time, you’ll begin to scale and grow your business, and go on to solve new types of problems for new types of customers.
Do you need help with defining your customer groups, or are you trying to figure out just how well your product offerings solve your customers’ problems? Let Aurik help you better understand your customer groups, and build your business into an Asset of Value.