This article was going to be called “Startups are hard work and take forever”, however it quickly changed into “Startup: Customers, Hard Work and Patience”
Have you often heard how many successful startups there are and how all of a sudden they had “overnight success”?
This is a bit of a myth and makes for good story reading when visiting a news site, but is not backed up with any factual evidence. There are of course exceptions to this, but they are not the norm.
Something I am learning is that startups are hard work and take a lot of sacrifice and several years to get right. What you don’t see behind the scenes is the previous struggles founders may have had with other businesses and/or building their business to a point where it was sustainable.
There is also no exact formula or science for creating a successful startup, you just don’t know what you don’t know.
However there are 2 patterns or attributes of successful startups: Hard work and Long term thinking. As a startup co-founder you can be guaranteed that once you have got past the pain of defining what your product/service is and built a business model you are then in for something I consider to be the hardest part: selling and retaining customers.
Sales and marketing
This is where the rubber often meets the road. When you start selling, especially in tech product companies you have either got your pricing right or wrong. Most of the time the pricing is wrong and either too low or too high. Convincing customers to buy something that is new to the market is very hard, takes patience and skill. You need to be able to craft your pitch in such a way that you have defined a massive problem in the current market and communicate how your product or service solves that problem.
Once you have started gathered customers you will need to retain them too through constant customer feedback, excellent support and customer service that is second to none!
Aren’t these 3 all the same? Yes and No
Customer feedback should be part of your support and customer service, but distinctly different in the way you approach it. For example if you have a SaaS software product customer feedback could be in your app. But support might be reached outside your app through having a well planned and executed customer service strategy. Customer service should essentially measure and maintain the customer lifecycle, including how well they are supported by your company but not necessarily own the end-end process.That is where Support comes into the picture and is the entire end to end process of how you integrate with a customer.