“Beating the game, not playing the game” – Tim Ferriss
Today I decided to start a bit different than other times. This is one of the topics that I feel very strongly about and I will give my best to bring you in my side (or at least I try…..).
Our today post will be devoted purely in one critical dimension of building our startup business. This is the starting point that each aspiring entrepreneurs should start from, it’s the foundation. It’s a completely different approach than what the mainstream viewpoint suggest.
Nevertheless, is something that in particular for young aspiring entrepreneurs is the must know and apply because is tailored on the specific particularities that describe us.
What is about that topic?
Our today post will be; how to not follow any of the unlimited segmentation tactics that are recommended for finding the target group/audience for your startup business and what to do instead.
Why you should care about
The reason why this strategy; is because is one of the very few ways to overcome some of our so-called weaknesses such as: our young age, our limited “experience” and our “invisible” startup capital;they can be addressed by a single only strategy.
As always I will not attempt to reinvent the wheel (my blog wasn’t founded on that purpose, it’s simply to share what works and what not), but I will just suggest one of the recommendations that are given by one of my favorite startup gurus. That guru is often named as the most interesting person in this planet. What can I assure you, is that is one of the most practical guy in this planet and bear with me a bit for revealing his powerful anti-segmentation strategy.
I could say is the ultimate segmentation tactic for finding your target group, but because I don’t like that fancy terminology whatsoever I would say, please have some patience, read the rest of the post (hopefully you would do it…….), and decide by yourself if the suggested approach worth your time…..
What is the problem with the current segmentation tactics
Unfortunately the mainstream ideas about segmentation doesn’t take into account the very specific particularities that a young aspiring entrepreneur has and just follow a path that is appropriate for many but not us.
What is often recommended as the must follow path for segmentation is something like that:
a) Define the market; Clearly define the market of interest
b) Create market segments; What type of customers/segments form that overall market
c) Evaluate the proposed market segments for viability (make sure that they have good potentials)
d) Create segment profiles (the demographics traits of each segment)
e) Assess their attractiveness and select accordingly
You might say, ok what’sthe problem “dude” it seems good for me.
Permit me to be blunt, no is not good for you.
If you are interested to follow the path that larger-scale companies follow, which implies that sizeable resources shall be devoted in this direction (money and time mostly), feel free to go for it, if you have these resources it might be a good idea.
Nevertheless all the recommendations that are given in my blog, is how to build your startup without losing your shirt, how to play smart and go against the conventional root for market (often is a strategy go out of business) following the footsteps and advices of people that they already followed that path and found unprecedented success (our startup experts which I use as reference for backing up my posts).
Long story short here we are, this advice is super powerful let’s dive into it.
“Be one of your target group” -Tim Ferriss
That’s the solution be one of your target group. In this post I will stick on why you need to do it,and I will touch on the how to do it aspect in future post because is a lengthy but not complicated process.
Basically in the question why to select that root instead of the conventional approach that I described above I would answer like that:
a) Avoid the Fatal mistake #1: Based your future on blurry market assumptions
As we explained in previous posts regardless how knowledgeable you are about your market, your product vision is full of assumptions that you have to attempt to convert into facts through “customer proof”.
Nonetheless if you chose a market segment other than one that you belong in (be one of your target group), your goal will be through market research (part of the segmentation process) to try to create some basic assumptions about how other people (that probably you can’t relate with them) will potentially perceive your future offer via addressing their pain points.
More often than not many startups because they select as target groups segments that they can’t relate neither to understand deeply they attempt to shed some light via research,buy unfortunately is nearly impossible to have an accurate picture about the needs, wants and particularities of that segment (except if they have the resources element that we referred above and carry out a lengthy and extensive research).
b) You already have a deep understanding of your target group
Because you are one of them (belong to that group; you live their struggles, confront the same problems, you hang around in the same places) you know from first hand which are their pain points (you don’t assume you know). Thereby you will have far higher probabilities to create a product/service that accommodates that wants, needs, problems or wishes and provides a clear solution to them.
Never forget that any kind of business is not anything more than: it’s simply a process of identifying a problem and finding a way to solve it that benefits both parties”. -J.Kaufman
This is your goal don’t ever forget it.
c) Limited learning curve
Even if you chose that target group (be one of your target group) you will need to go through the customer discovery process (seek customer “proof” for validating your initial business assumptions via a MVP). Nevertheless by following the be one of your target group strategy you’ll decrease the time devoted in this step at least 3 times comparing with choosing another target group than “yours”.
d) Wipe out the experience factor
One of the myths that surround aspiring entrepreneurs is: “But you don’t have experience you don’t know your market well (how the market works)”
Bam, problem solved. You already have experience of your market because you simply liveit, leave the douches still wonder….
e) Gain confidence
It’s unbelievable how much boost is for your confidence when you truly believe that you know your target group like the back of your hand. This will have the opposite of domino effect in the decisiveness of you taking business decisions. Knowing your market and in particular the pain points is the half of the game/battle. The other half is simply (not so simple believe me) to find out a way to addressing that pain point via your product/service better or more unique than your rivals.
f) Take advantage of the niche strategy
The niche strategy that I reiterate/preach always, is not simply about your business field but for your target group as well. Thereby by selecting that particular segment you automatically niche down the market in a narrow segment of the market. Keep in mind if you target for everybody you eventually target for nobody, never forget it.
That’s it guys, I am really happy that I shared with you that ground breaking tactic. I hope to share my enthusiasm about it.
Please tell us your opinion regarding that core principle, how do you think will affect your future entrepreneurship plans?
“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”