An important startup success factor is ability to work on multiple tasks in parallel, instead of being sequential. Unfortunately most startups first make the product and then do everything else. They usually do not realize that developing sales and marketing can be equally demanding and should be done in parallel with product development. In an ideal situation all below points are ready before or together with the product:
Make a roadmap to reach the first sale, first 10 K EUR / USD revenue, first 100 K revenue, and first 1 MM revenue. This will help you to understand what lays ahead of you, from the very start to the end.
Make a list of at least 50 customers who need your product, can pay for it, and can make a decision to buy it. This will help you understand your customers and you will be prepared to sell immediately when the product is ready.
Offer preferably paid services independently or in support of your products. This will help you understand your customers better and develop a better know-how about their problems and needs. Besides building a customer base and know-how, you will also start to generate revenue. Product revenue can take over later.
Write at least 30 blog posts or make at least 30 videos about your company, product, or yourself which you think are valuable to your customers. This will help you to define your message and use content in sales. Making content is not only about attracting customers, but – more importantly – about developing your message for yourself and your team.
Analyze at least 20 competitors, watch their videos and read their articles, call them as a buyer, and try their products. Try to like their products and understand why, go beyond seeing them as competitors only. This will help you to understand what you are up against.
If there are two versions of a startup: one which first works only on the product, and second which works on the product and roadmap, content, customers, services – the second would grow faster and win. Designing and building a product is a wonderful experience, but we should not be addicted to it.
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