Importance of product-market fit for your startups

Before starting up, finding your product-market fit first is key. Identifying your customer, figuring out a right approach, and then creating the right product to fit your market is a great strategy for startup success.

One of the challenging aspects of building your startup is identifying how well your startup caters to the market that you're addressing. OK, so you have an idea, you know there's a problem statement, and you've also realized that your startup idea could address the pain points of your consumer. However, one of the most important things that entrepreneurs need to focus on is how well your startup figures in the product-market fit aspect of delivering what the users want at the end of the day.

In this article, I take a look at how entrepreneurs could go about getting their product-market fit strategy right.

Deep dive into customer insights

Of course, there are greater examples of products in the market that didn't really get into customer insights, and built something that the market didn't need. They created their own market. Apple is the best example, and probably the most overused one, but more often than not, it is important to get your user feedback and customer insights right at the get-go. Even if you have deep research and numbers on your target market, it makes complete sense to get a better understanding of how specific your product can fit the market, what exactly the pain points are that your product can address, and which is a better platform and market to focus on when you launch.

While the generic figures and numbers address the general market, there might be a lot of knowledge gaps that can be better understood if you deep dive into your specific customer. For example, getting in early surveys, talking to your potential customers right from the beginning, and figuring out customer sentiment through the use of various social media and ORM tools could help you conceptualize and strategize your product and its features very well.

Get your approach right

While understanding what the customer wants helps in delving into creating a better product, the most important and key area of product-market fit strategy is to figure out what kind of an approach would you like to use when targeting your customers. Having understood what really makes your customer tick, you should design an approach to build your product and market it accordingly.

For example, if you have an insight that your product is meant to be consumed in a particular fashion according to the latest trend among your demographics, then an advisable idea would be to follow the trend and not break it, unless there is some kind of a market that seems to be left behind, and consumers really don't know what they're missing out on.

Find the right stories to address your market

Of course, you know the pain points of your consumers; that's exactly why you're out there, building a product to cater to an audience that really needs a problem to be solved. But don't just look at numbers, data, and statistics that will tell you that there is "a" problem that exists, when you look at it collectively. Try to identify with your customers by finding out what their stories are. Connect with your customers, and find out exactly how their problem is specific and different from others.

This will give you a deeper insight into what the product could mean in the current market fit. Scenarios that will help you tell your problem-solving nature of the startup will also become testimonials of the future. If you get that right, half of your product-market fit strategy will fall into place moving forward.

Business model vs. business plan

Of course, one of the key things to identify where you are going ahead with your startup is to constantly document your business plan. You may very well have figured out your business model, but to stay constantly in touch with your goals, it is imperative that you keep documenting and rewriting your business plan as and when you see it fit to update.

With the dynamic nature of things in today's market, it is also a wise approach, especially since your product-market fit may not necessarily remain constant in the future. With the help of your objectives and goals, try to single out the metrics you want to achieve, and then take your strategy ahead towards attaining the right product-market fit. Figure out your cost structures, customer acquisition channels, revenue streams, and revenue models, and keep evaluating them with the status quo in the market. If need be, challenge the status quo on occasions. It helps you stay fresh and valid in the market.

At the end of the day, if you are to achieve success with your product, then you have to ensure that you are quick on your feet and maintain consistency in your approach. Remember, failure is common in startups, but how well you understand your mistakes and realize the importance of validating and identifying product-market fit helps you go a long way to delay that failure — and even succeed, for that matter.

What do you think?