What most entrepreneurs fail to realize is that a great marketing plan and a great team will not make up for a mediocre product. Perhaps there was a time in history when an average product could make it, but that time has long since passed. Globalization has forced everyone to perform at a higher level. Even if the company is focused on local offerings, it will still likely have to compete with international businesses.
Given that information, it is the responsibility of every entrepreneur to make sure that their product can compete and has lasting appeal. It must be viable in the long-term if the start-up is to succeed. Fortunately, there are ways of approaching a product that can help achieve that goal. Joel Devidal, CEO of SMEJapan.com, shares 5 factors to create a lasting product:
- The Product Must Be Simple
Any product an entrepreneur puts out must be simple. That doesn’t mean that it can’t have complex pieces, only that the end-user must not be required to slog through an encyclopedia to make it work and that using it is as simple as possible. Naturally, this will vary depending on your offering – but an added level of complexity must be justified. The more complex the product, the more significant the barrier to use and the lower the odds of it being chosen over a similarly useful but more straightforward product.
- Who the Product Serves Must be Clearly Defined
Entrepreneurs must design a product with a clearly defined audience in mind. A product can exist in a vacuum, theoretically, but it won’t help anyone, and it probably won’t help a start-up make money. That audience is what will define how the product is constructed. The target demographic will determine your product’s ease-of-use, its aesthetics, and so forth.
Knowing who will end up using the product will give direction to the start-up. Everything from the marketing campaign to the company name will be reflected. Whenever employees aren’t sure how to go about something, they can go back to the core of the product, and the target audience, to figure out what to do.
- The Product Must Answer a Common Need
A smart entrepreneur will think about the things people talk about. What amazing thing can they not wait to share with their friends? What kind of news gets talked about? More often than not, the difference between what is discussed and what is forgotten comes down to relatability. Is the news or the product something the listener is bound to be interested in?
For a product to last, it must be accessible and needed by a lot of people. It does not necessarily have to be a significant majority of the world’s population, but entrepreneurs must at least be confident that the average person will at least know someone who’ll want to use it.
- The Product Must be Able to Compete
No product is the best at every metric. Some products are expensive but have qualities and features that justify the expense. Other products are bare-bones but are placed at a much more affordable price point. A savvy entrepreneur will consider where in the market to position their product to make it as competitive as possible.
- The Product Must be Accessible
A product that no one can access or buy may as well not exist. Depending on the start-up, the scale of the accessibility effort will vary, but it must be able to reach the entirety of its target audience. That effort can range from having local ads wherever possible to a massive social marketing campaign.
One thing is necessary, no matter what the scale – a website. An online presence allows customers to find information on the start-up and what it offers and requires less upkeep than dedicated customer service representatives. This reduced cost is of utmost importance to entrepreneurs, especially those who don’t have the ideal amount of capital.
Smart entrepreneurs know that when they make their product, it has to be designed to survive. It must be accessible to their target audience, answer a universal need, and be as easy to use as possible without removing essential features. Successful start-ups will make sure that they can stand the test of time. A company must be built for the long haul. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.
About Joel Devidal:
Joel Devidal is a veteran in the business world; as a founder and CEO, he has a knack for finding investors, launching companies, and keeping steady growth post-launch. Beyond business, Joel is an active part of his community supporting local organizations and helping young entrepreneurs get their start.
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