What Entrepreneurs Should Be Learning From Their Customers
One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make when they send off a survey to their customers is that they believe they’re discovering what their customers think about their product and their company.
The truth is, entrepreneurs need to be validating what they themselves think about their product and their company. The results will tell them how close they are to the truth.
Truth, lies, and statistics
Numbers are great. Statistics are my lifeblood. Data is my language. But I’ve been working with numbers long enough to know that numbers don’t define facts, they confirm theories.
So when I sent off Teaching Startup’s customer survey at the end of last year, I devised it to either prove or disprove what I already believed about the product, its value, its positioning, and our execution.
On the surface, proving or disproving these beliefs is a simple process. It’s merely a shift from broad and vague questions like “What do you want?” to a more focused “Do you want this?” and then a shift to “Do you find value in this?” and then a quantification of “How much value do you find in this?”
Two things make the process more complex.
- Obviously, you have to have a strong mission and plan in place to be able to confirm or deny pieces of it are working.
- Each aspect of that mission and plan deserves a unique take on getting from broad and vague to direct and quantified. In other words, I can ask “Do you find the Q&A section of the newsletter valuable?” but I can’t ask “How much would you pay for the newsletter?” without some anchoring price points.
So what did we find?
Teaching Startup is indeed valuable. With 100% of paying subscribers finding the Q&A valuable, and 88% saying so even if the question doesn’t apply to them. We also hit an NPS on 93.3.
We discovered that 79% of paying subscribers agree that Teaching Startup is a decent substitute for a traditional advisor at 0.05% of the cost. That shines a light of validation on the value proposition, as I want that value prop to eventually be 80% of the value at 20% of the cost. But even though that 79% looks like 80%, I’d put the value more around 30% of the value of a traditional advisor, because I am one and I know better.
We confirmed that Teaching Startup is not yet as interactive as I’d like, but that the app we just launched is a huge step (100% approval) in that direction.
Do our customers love Teaching Startup? That’s not what the survey was about. Do they find value? Absolutely. Are they finding value where we thought they were? Close, but not 100%, so now we can adjust, and head in the right direction.
Come join Teaching Startup with a free trial, and dive into the objective side of being an entrepreneur. Use code NUMBERS to get your first month after the trial for just $5. After that, Teaching Startup is affordable, at just $10 a month.