Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.
This week’s question comes from Pavel Ciobanu, who asks:
This is such an important concept for any entrepreneur to master in the early stages of their startup.
Before my first startup, I started my career as an assistant to my brother, a financial advisor.
Soon after that, I began to get frustrated that there was nothing out there to help us automate the customer management side of things.
Everything—followups, lead nurturing, tracking—was manual. I thought that maybe if I was having this problem, then others might be, too.
So I put a PowerPoint deck together about the solution I envisioned—a CRM for financial advisors—and then I picked up the phone.
I called other financial advisors in my area, asking if I could have five minutes of their time.
Then I asked them about their own experiences and pains, and learned that dozens of them shared the same burning frustrations that we did.
It was then—and only then—that I decided to team up with my technical cofounder and get the product built.
It’s a process I’ve repeated for all of my startups, and the time I put in early on has paid off exponentially in building a better solution than we otherwise would have.
For a non-technical founder like me (especially), the easiest way to validate your idea is simply to go talk to your potential customers first.
And the way that you do that ultimately depends on where you can find your target audience:
Are they on reddit or some other specialized online community? Are they at specific conferences or meetups? Are they reading particular blogs or newsletters?
Wherever your audience congregates, go there and establish yourself as someone worth talking and listening to.
And in a little while, it will become easy to find people who are happy to talk to you about the problems you’re trying to solve, and who ultimately could become your very first users.