Are you going to startup? First ask yourself: Who is your client?

The question, in reality, you have to put it better like this: who is willing to pay for my product and / or service?

One of the big questions of the entrepreneur is ‘how do I find out if there are clients?’ You do not need to manufacture your product on a large scale to find out. The important thing is to find two variables: ‘Are there people interested in my product? And people willing to pay for it? ‘”, Underlines Javier Megías, an expert in entrepreneurship and business model design.

To answer the first question, says this expert, “you can search by words and concepts in Google to know what volume of search terms have. That allows you to have an idea of ​​the potential size of your market. There is an error when talking, for example, that the market for the sale of textiles has X volume, but you will never sell textiles, but specific shoes or bags or T-shirts, etc. So, how do you decide or do you know if the X shoes are going to be sold in a certain market? And Google can help you because it lets you know what volume of searches are associated with each type of product. ” This may seem a trifle, but it will give you an idea of ​​whether it is something that people really care about and look for.

And to validate if there are customers willing to pay, “you can only know with sales. It is the only way to validate if there is a sustainable business model behind with the ability to generate money. And for this, instead of generating the entire product, you can make a viable minimum product or in the case of an offline business, you can mount, for example, the pop up store in a corner with pedestrian traffic and start selling. You will discover if there are customers willing to pay or not, what they think about the price, etc. That can be one of the ways, and on the Internet it can be ten times easier, “argues Megías.

To know if there are people interested in your product, it is not enough to do an exercise of introspection about who is really that client that you hope to have, but also “you must do -recommends this expert- a real work of empathy, leaving you position and try to imagine what are the problems of that client. And once you have it more or less clear and you have started to validate it with the first sales and you know that this type of client exists, you must know where it is. ” For example, if you are going to sell to the Third Age, do not consider using social networks as a channel, but consider going to Benidorm. “Or if you focus on a very young audience, do not use LinkedIn. Analyze where your customers are And if you reach a level of powerful sophistication, you can segment the funnels (see support) according to the origin of your clients. This will allow you to know where customers are better and more from you: ‘These come from the campaigns I do on Twitter, these through Facebook, they come from other clients, etc.’ And this way you will know where you will have to dedicate more or less resources “, explains Megías.

De Miguel recommends using empathy maps, which help put yourself in the client’s shoes. “With this map, we go a step beyond the classical segmentation of a traditional business plan. Putting yourself in the client’s skin you can find out in many ways what he thinks, what he hears, what he is hearing in his work and personal environment, what his wishes are, etc. For an entrepreneur who is working in a sector of activity and has contacts with users in that sector, it is easier “.

The empathy map starts from two concepts. “The first – clarifies José Antonio de Miguel, an expert in lean entrepreneurship – is observation. And that does not cost money, only time. Observe your customers, what they want, what they are looking for, what they like and do not like about the offer, etc. Traditionally we segment by sociodemographic variables. But many more things can be done. For example, you work in a restaurant and you detect that there is an opportunity to set up an unfast good in an executive area because you have seen that they have a time limit to eat, a certain purchasing power and they like a healthy life. That would be the traditional way. Instead of doing all this, you observe and define a client that would be the senior executive, a person between 40 and 45 years old, who eats Monday through Friday away from home, who has 12 euros a day to eat, who goes by bike and he likes sports. With all that data, you make a profile. As simple as observing and putting yourself in the client’s shoes, you can get a lot of information. Dedicate a few days to go to that area, notebook in hand, observe and write down everything you see to generate profiles “.

The second important concept is to validate everything you have observed. “You can do a survey at street level, or using a web platform, etc., to receive feedback from your potential consumers. It is what is known as the process of validation or decustomer development process. ”

Javier Escudero