Discovering Your Marketplace

I want to offer steps you can apply to develop a good understanding of the market opportunity you are pursuing as you build your business plan to launch the venture. This analysis divides into four areas: Founder, Customer, Industry, and Startup Ecosystem. As discussed in previous posts, the first area deals with the founding team's … Continue reading Discovering Your Marketplace

Essentials of B2B Customer Discovery

Frequently, founders ask me to talk about the differences one encounters when building a venture that serves business customers instead of non-business consumers. While the overall process is somewhat agnostic for the target customer or business model, there are certainly differences to explore. This post will focus on the customer discovery process, starting with customer … Continue reading Essentials of B2B Customer Discovery

Startups: Know Your Early Customer Metrics

In an earlier post, I have discussed the sales funnel's role in selecting promotional strategies to reach, acquire, and retain your target customer. Each stage of the sales cycle - Awareness, Consideration, Decision, and Post Purchase - was mapped to crucial marketing decisions. Focusing on a specific customer segment, you would take each stage of the … Continue reading Startups: Know Your Early Customer Metrics

Classify Your Startup to Optimize Market Research

My initial idea for this post was to write about the steps required to conduct a practical analysis of the relevant industry or sector that helps the founder examine the external environment in which the team will operate. The more I researched industry analysis methods, the more I realized how challenging it could be for … Continue reading Classify Your Startup to Optimize Market Research

Why Startups Should Focus On Pre-Launch Metrics

Everyone agrees that measuring and monitoring startup performance is a critical success factor for fledgling enterprises. However, while much is written about measuring startup performance post-launch, there is less attention to pre-launch metrics. In this post, I make the case that establishing a disciplined pre-launch culture, manifested by a history of goal setting, measurement, monitoring, … Continue reading Why Startups Should Focus On Pre-Launch Metrics

New Venture Realization: Principles & Practices

In this post, I want to update our readers and subscribers on the current thinking about how new ventures move from an early idea to launch. I have been teaching topics associated with innovation for over 30 years, focusing on new product innovation. Over the years, my interests have evolved to include new venture creation … Continue reading New Venture Realization: Principles & Practices

Financial Planning for Startups: Common Errors

You are spending a good deal of research time validating various parts of your business model. Your early research includes extensive engagement with the target customer (primary research) and investigation and monitoring of your competition (secondary research). Hopefully, you have acquired some early knowledge about how important the problem's solution is to the customer and … Continue reading Financial Planning for Startups: Common Errors

Determining Sales Cycle Promotional Strategies

The last post highlighted how startups could apply the traditional marketing mix framework - Product, Price, Place, & Promotion (the four "Ps" - to develop an integrated market entry strategy. Now let's take a deeper look at the selection and testing of promotional strategy to reach and convert early target customers. As a starting point, … Continue reading Determining Sales Cycle Promotional Strategies

Market Entry Strategies for Startups

One of the most challenging goals for a startup is attracting and acquiring the proper number of customers to sustain and grow your venture. To gain adequate traction with your target customers, several aspects of your business model must align correctly, especially the customer relations and channel strategies. In an earlier post, I highlighted some … Continue reading Market Entry Strategies for Startups