Guess what? You’re asking the wrong people.
I’d like to start with a quick story.
A few years ago we had a client who was starting a dayhome. She had lots of experience working with children, had a really good idea about how she wanted to charge, what regulations she needed to follow, what her niche would be and what activities she might do with the children. What she didn’t know was how the actual day to day might look like in practice.
It happens so often. A business owner or Entrepreneur has a great idea for a new business, product or services that are going to just be awesome. Or at least, they think it will be. To make sure, they decide they should get a few opinions first. They turn to their family and friends, or even worse, their random list of friends on Facebook to get opinions if they think it will work. And herein lies the problem.
What’s the problem with that?
The problem with turning to your friends and family is that their opinions may not be the ones you need. They think about themselves first. Now, I’m not saying all your friends are selfish. What I’m saying is, they’re thinking if your new idea will be good for them personally. Why is that a problem you ask? Because they may not be your ideal client or customer. They may not be the type of person that has the typical problem your ideal customer has? They may not think about what your ideal customer needs. By nature, it is difficult for most people to step in another person’s shoes.
Do I even need to ask anyone else?
Well, if you want to give your product or service the best possible chance to succeed you should. Sure, you could do some research online but you will more than like fall down a rabbit hole of random information. Typically, business owners know their own skills. When they develop something new they are solving a problem they think people have. That can be a hit and miss situation. The ones who are truly successful are good at looking outside themselves and figuring out what the client actually needs.
So who do you need to ask?
- Ask your customers/clients
Ask some of your past customers that were an ideal fit for your new idea. Ask them if the new idea would help solve a problem they may have? What their experience was in the past for said problem, and if there is anything they would add to your solution to make it even better? When you are asking questions, dig (and I mean REALLY dig until they’ve truly run out of answers) for information and clarity.
- Industry Peers or Network
Ask someone you know that works in the same industry or has a similar ideal client what their previous experience has been on a similar offering. Don’t know anyone that fits the bill, look some options up on LinkedIn or Google or a networking group you belong to, and find out who you need to talk to. Send a polite introduction and specifically explain your intentions, how you found them online and they do something similar to what you are thinking of doing, and as a peer in the industry, you would like their opinion. Some will ignore you but you would be surprised at how many people actually find it rewarding to give peers in the same industry help.
Remember the dayhome owner I was telling you about earlier? Well, She solved this problem by calling another dayhome (We’ll call it Dayhome B) in the city, explaining her situation and asking if she could volunteer/job shadow for a day. After vetting and building a rapport, Dayhome B was more than happy to get free work while helping a peer. Problem solved.
Asking for your ideal clients, customers or even industry peers for feedback can provide extremely valuable insight that helps you to know their perception about your brand, the new business, product or service you have planned and help you deliver the best customer experience possible. In the end, that will only help you succeed.
Is there something else on this topic that you wish was included in this article or just want to know more about? Let us know!