What Software Startups Want
Before you actually start to put pressure on your mind, while reading this, just want to let you know, all of these were written based on own experience. Being effective at startups carrying is more than tactics, it’s the strategy of building a relationship between founders and their future customers. And if you’re not feeling this type of strategic thinking, at least we’ve tried :)
All that simple. Every product comes from what customers need. Just like Shaman did, bring people an original product, while developers team mission is to technically improve a service and count company’s goals. This step turns idea to a decision, which in fact brings real customers.
Build a business model. Make it as bunch of moving mechanisms. Visualize it: be able to see how each part relates to the others. It’s important to understand a difference between a small business and a startup. Last one made for growth. So, be careful: if can’t stay on market (don’t meet the requirements), growth might be a huge waste of money.
First of all, find a market your product fits. Then you’ll be ready to grow. It’s all about sizes :) How fast your company grows always depend on the market scale. Large budgets make way to a great market with tons of customers, but don’t forget about quality. Big usually means more insistence, high urgency. Are you ready for it or may be not worth joining at all? Markets worth being at first place always have competitors. Running a startup in a competitive market required speed strategy. Want to achieve goals — bring investors. Implement large services, put a startup on a map for the long-term lifecycle.
What makes them up at night
As we figured out goals and the idea of a startup, let’s dive in why customers will pay for product. Up to our own experience, people don’t care about buying things, they want a hope, a chance. They spend money to make a life progress. So, if you’re making something “would be nice to have” — it’s a real deal.
What you need to know, there are consumers and business customers. Both have different needs. Developing a software for certain priorities, remember, a businessman wants to return an investment, means you need to create something that literally “selling money”. While average customer lives in “no pain, no gain” mode. Their product must have features that treat pain and increase a gain, shake my head.. What a wordplay metaphor.
Ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Thousand years of evolution are not even close to ruin human (customer) needs. There is a rank system of people motivation in different moments of life often portrayed as hierarchical pyramid. But despite what sociologists believe, we are not so logically legit creatures sometimes. Not to say humans are silly mindless(might be:), but in different situations we could be easily pushed towards irrational decisions. To create something successful dig into customers life struggle. Learning sociology step by step is hot and effective marketing tool.
Shoot ’em in the head
Now we imagine what our startup is about. We know who our customers are and what do they want. So let’s focus on market segmentation and bring the right customers.
Saying “Hi!” generally to everyone won’t draw you much feedback. You already know a specific customer segment you want to influence, right? Well then, address their needs. Could it be more simple? (while writing an article — yes) In real life, to create a powerful strategic message you got to know all them psychological triggers. Better leave it for marketers. Other than that, keep in mind, consumer doesn’t care about you as a person, same as your product and company. As we said before, it’s all about making a progress of living lavish idea. And if you aren’t talking about it, they won’t listen.
“People don’t buy products; they buy a better version of themselves” ©UX designer Samuel Hulick
Building the Marketing Machine
Owning successful business means customers to pay you. Doesn’t matter, if it’s lots of people pay each one a little money or few large companies making you a big profit. Knowing your buyers, think about buying process. Literally, just track customer acquisitions. Customer lifecycle is to understand how people experience your product and watch for actions taken. Sales funnel helps company to follow inside actions for effectively slide down of a customer. Track both :)
As soon as you finish the deal, make sure your customers are still happy and come back for more. Be responsible for managing all around: bring whole amount of specialists, create a strategy, adjust responsibilities, take part in all product management discussions. Think what are you going to do when startup grows to a big company. Always keep the future in your head.
Now you know how to organize a marketing campaign and created a buying process. Time to start hustling. We all know, getting first customers is always hard. Your product is new — unproven. Take risks — give them a beta version, incomplete or even buggy product. Engaging users with an early product is a powerful technique for growth rolling. Plus you get brilliant feedback and opportunity to make it better.
Trying to grow too quick may hurt time to time. Let’s see, investors gave money and your mission is to fulfill their expectations. Bring enough customers to keep deal afloat, don’t overfill the boat. Everything will change eventually as company matures, especially the numbers. At this stage your goal is to search for product market fit. So, hustle hard to make it satisfying the needs of buyers. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time and money.
Running a successful startup requires:
· Content Marketing and SEO
· Landing Page
· Customer Development
· Product Software Development
and many other things to perform.
At WebLab Technology we have completed quite some interesting and ambitious startups during last years like Shaman, FollowAnalytics, DeployStation, OutCrowd etc. If you’re looking for assist with something has to be a good Web/IOS/Desktop application, feel free to contact us at email@example.com
by Dima Dmytriienko, editor & Brand Specialist
with help of Oleksandr Knyga, Software Engineer