Startups face a never-ending stream of difficulties and obstacles. Survival in such a situation is the art of deciding what to prioritize, postpone, or ignore.
But this is never simple: disagreements in opinion, running out of time and money, and the erroneous belief that a truly excellent business idea should skyrocket quickly are common obstacles entrepreneurs will confront.
Product-market fit is a notion that aspires to be “the only thing that matters” to overcome numerous startup challenges. This idea should put any startup on the proper path, regardless of the circumstances.
What is Product Market Fit?
Product market fit has a straightforward meaning: To achieve product-market fit means you have identified a problem (that your customers need solving) and have found a solution that provides enough value to users relative to the alternatives.
For this solution to be sustainable, you need to understand if it is valuable enough for your customers so that they would be willing to pay for it.
Startups usually deal with unmeasurable markets until they achieve product-market fit. At this point, startups become measurable regarding their impact on the bottom line. This situation is also called “growth hacking.” Product-market fit (PMF) is when a company has validated signals that its product can meet an existing need in a high-potential market.
Typically, PMF is achieved when individuals are willing to purchase the product (even though it is not yet flawless), actively use it, and suggest it to others.
Steps to achieve product-market fit
Palarino Partners explains steps to achieve product-market fit.
Formulate the value hypothesis: What value does your product deliver? How will you measure it? What is the smallest evidence to prove that your assumption is correct?
Test the value hypothesis: Find out if your value hypothesis is correct as soon as possible. Use customer interviews, surveys, and experiments to test the initial version of your product with real users.
Adjust for customer feedback: Based on what you learn, iterate and decide what future development efforts should emphasize. These could include any number of factors: a new feature, a completely different approach, or a new target audience.
Repeat the process until you have addressed your target market or proven it doesn’t exist. It may seem like everything is going wrong in the near term, but don’t lose heart.
It is ultimately possible to find a product manager NYC that establishes sustainable customer demand and enables the company to be profitable.
Specify the features of your minimum viable product: Don’t release your solution until it is ready for use by real customers. If you can’t find customers, then you don’t have a business: no product, no distribution, no sales, and no marketing.
Specify the smallest possible solution that could prove that the value hypothesis is correct. When you get the first usable version of your product, put it into the hands of early adopters to get their feedback.
Define your value proposition: Make it easy for customers to understand your product’s value and why they should pay for it.
Identify viable competitors: If you have a great idea but don’t yet have customers or revenue, look at your competitors. Which ones have the most traction? Which of their features are valuable to customers? How are these features being used? Why do customers like them so much?
Chop off the features that are not worth developing: Not every feature is worth getting into a company’s product roadmap. For example, if you can’t find customers – don’t spend time on a feature that no one wants. And if you can find nobody interested in paying for any feature – then drop it.
Test your minimum viable product with customers: Take things one step at a time; don’t try to build your first version as a complete product.
According to the approach, the most important thing is to start building product prototypes immediately, so you can ship them sooner and get feedback from real users.
Startups need a clear idea of how to test their products with customers and build them accordingly. You can get customer feedback in two primary ways: usability testing and surveys. In this article, we will focus on how startups should use surveys to test their lack of market fit.
Learn from your users: At this stage, you should be able to answer the following two questions: Your MVP either supported or disproved the value theory. And what improvements can you make to your future product?
An unfavorable outcome from your experiment testing the value hypothesis is not the end of the world. Based on the feedback, you may modify your hypothesis and rephrase it. Then, repeat the procedure.
The Bottom Line!
You don’t need to do everything right the first time. If your product doesn’t work, learn from your mistakes, iterate, and ship your next version to customers as fast as possible.
But to be a successful entrepreneur, you must find product-market fit early in the game. Do not let anything distract you from this key activity. Startups that launch in a vacuum usually fail because they can’t understand why they aren’t gaining traction with real customers while building their products.
Find out what your competitors are doing right and how you can apply these same factors to your startup’s value proposition and business strategy.