Determining Product-Market Fit As A Small Business

Every small business owner needs to make sure their venture is sticking to one golden rule: the product-market fit. If your plans fail to cover this, your concept is almost certain to fail. However, defining the right product-market fit can be extremely challenging for some start-ups, as you may have already discovered through experience. Here are some important steps toward determining product-market fit: 

Understand Your Current & Future Customer Base Needs

Getting clued up on the needs of your customer base takes time and energy, but if you don’t take this step, you’ve got a slim chance of pinning down your product-market fit. To ensure you’re able to improve your understanding of your target market, you need to be reaping the right valuable data. 

This includes relevant data from the right test metrics, communicating directly with your customers, reading industry news outlets, attending trade shows, and if it’s possible, getting advice from a mentor who’s had more experience in the niche than you. Taking these steps will allow you to become more intimate with industry needs, and possibly gain invaluable connections. If your resources are stretched, the priority should always be understanding the problems your target audience is facing. This will allow you to relate to them more effectively, and build more trust and credibility for your brand. 

Focus on a Single Value Proposition 

Like many start-ups, you’ve probably tried to take a multi-faceted approach to offer your customers great value. Narrowing the features of your product or service down to the one value proposition that will carry your business forward can be tough, but it’s also absolutely necessary. So, how do you determine which value proposition you should be focusing on? Again, this is mainly about communicating with your customers, analyzing trends that are emerging in your industry, and pinning down areas where your close competitors are failing to solve the problems of the customers. 

Hitting this focus on the head can make or break a business, so make sure you’re not brushing over it. Auxiliary features, no matter how attractive you know they’ll be to your target market, can come later. If your product or service solves one major problem for your customers, they’ll be more than happy to wait for gimmicky extras like loyalty programs, related products or Instagram integration

small business brand building product-market fit

Tell a Story to Build Credibility 

In today’s increasingly digital world, a lot of people think of brands as logos, products and services, rather than the people behind those things. One of the easiest ways to build credibility with your customer base is to humanize your brand by telling a good story. Even though the inherent value of your product or service will be the real decider, injecting personality into your brand like this can make a real difference to how people respond to it. Take your target market through everything that brought you to where you are today. Talk about the background of your founders, how the idea for your business came about, the challenges (both personal and professional) that you had to overcome, and what makes you different from the more established competition.

Final Thoughts

Determining product-market fit is no easy task. Keep these suggestions in mind to make the best first impression possible for your small business

I hope you enjoyed this article about how to better determine product-market fit as a bootstrapped small business owner.

Interested in more articles about small business strategy?

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Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of the Bootstrap Business Blog
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