3. Listen, Listen, Listen
When you’re selling a product or a service, it’s important to stay engaged with your customer from step one, not just to ensure their satisfaction, but to solicit feedback as well. Listen to this feedback, both for ways you can improve your existing product, and for other needs the client may have. You may have a very strong idea of what you want to build, and it can be tempting to tell your customers to just wait and see your final vision. But at the end of the day, your product is being made for the people who would use it, and they may have different ideas about what they need.
This goes back to believing in what you’re doing. If you aren’t confident that you can find the right solution to the problem you want to solve, every piece of feedback will seem like a dent in your plans, not an opportunity to make things even better. Furthermore, not every piece of negative feedback is harmful. While it’s important to get the naysayers off your radar, constructive criticism can be vital to improving your product. This doesn’t just apply to fixing broken pieces, but to concepts and ideas as well. Sometimes, an idea just isn’t meant to fly, and the tighter you hold to your initial idea, the less opportunities your company will have.
“…[T]here could be something amazing just around the corner and if you put the blinders on you will never see it.”
However, this doesn’t mean you need to let go of the core principles of your idea or turn the product into nothing but a mishmash of customer requests. Simply changing your approach can take your company in new directions that you didn’t originally plan on. Quinn Cully, CEO and Cofounder of Jowl, explains the importance of embracing change. “Don’t fall in love with your product, expect and plan for a big change in the business model and the product itself, because there could be something amazing just around the corner and if you put the blinders on you will never see it.” Being flexible and willing to travel down these new, unexpected paths will keep your business afloat better than refusing to experiment and try new things.
We’ve only barely touched on some of the core qualities of a successful entrepreneur, and we’d love to hear what other qualities you believe are vital to launching your ideas. Tell us more about your past experiences below. What worked? What didn’t? What would you do differently?
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