What Is Product-Market Fit?Aug 03, 2022
As a female entrepreneur, when you've settled on an idea you desire to launch for your business, understanding the true product-market fit for it will make the difference if that idea is financially successful or not.
Product-market fit represents your product or service that satisfies a strong market demand for what you're selling. Meaning your target customers are more than excited to pay you for receiving your product or services because it fixes a problem they desire to solve today.
Suppose you see your idea as something that can immediately solve a specific customer's need. In that case, it's critical as a businesswoman to take some time to do your research to determine if this idea is wanted. Because if it's something a customer needs but doesn't want, your idea could be boarding on what I often note as the product "advice trap."
The "advice trap" is from the book written by Michael Bungay Stanier called The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever. If you haven't picked up this book, I highly recommend it.
In it, Michael shares how our Advice Monster will jump in to offer ideas, opinions, suggestions, and advice to solve a problem someone might have. Yet the guidance we give the other person may seem what they need, but it might not be what they want. Because the problem you think you're solving might not be the actual problem, they really want it fixed in the first place.
To ensure you are providing a solution to the problem someone does want to solve. Michael suggests first becoming curious and diving into understanding the other person's problem, so you can provide the ideal solution they want today.
Let's take an example of a real-life situation to apply how the Advice Monster often jumps in. Think of a time your BFF called you to vent about a recent horrible date with someone she met from an online site she's been using. She goes on and on about how her biggest problem is that this online site only has bad people to date. Being a great BFF, you'll listen to her vent for a few minutes about her problem with this horrible dating site, and then your Advice Monster will jump in with a solution of trying a new online site and suggest some to try. Your friend will say pleasantly, 'sure, I'll think about this.' However, a week later, you're again on the phone listening to her vent about this horrible online site that keeps giving her more awful dates.
Now, in this situation, if you had instead not jumped in with your Advice Monster but stayed curious and asked questions to understand what the real problem your BFF was trying to solve. You'd learn that the real problem she wanted to solve was better vetting her potential dates on the site she was using. Knowing this would have allowed you to offer her a different solution on tips for helping her vet out her dates better. Which would end up with you getting a call a few weeks later from your BFF excited to share about the best date she had recently with someone she met on the online site and how grateful she was to you for solving her problem.
When you apply this real-life scenario to your business idea, like your BFF, your customer has a true problem they want to solve today. As a businesswoman, check to ensure your business idea solves your customers' actual problems. Use curiosity to help ensure your business idea is the right product-market fit your customer wants to be solved.
To double check if your Advice Monster is not jumping in to solve a need, start with reframing your business idea, not as the end-all-be-all solution.
Think of this idea as a first draft experiment, and you're curious about implementing it to see if this is the right solution for your customer.
You can do this by testing the idea through customer surveys or interviews. These are great for asking your target customer curious-based questions about their problems and the wants they desire solved today. Micheal brings up some good questions in his book you can use to help you gather the research and data for developing your business idea further into an ideal product market fit.
The right product-market fit for your business idea is to satisfy strong market demand for what you're selling. Be curious to learn how the solution you have can fulfill this demand. Because when you do, your customer will gladly pay you a high dollar to resolve the problem they want to fix today.
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