God, I love getting to the testing phase. All that planning, all those assumptions, the interpretation of customer needs, and then finally, it starts to come together. Finally a prospective customer tells you what they actually think and feel about what you have done.
It’s no longer some hypothesis, however well researched. It’s an executable, a product or service that adds value to someone.
Of course it’s never perfect at this first stage. In fact it’s only half right, but it’s always progress. It feels great just to be getting closer to launch.
So last week, 6 people tested out our new legal broker service. They really found it easy to use and intuitive, in spite of the bugs. It feels like a real winner this one. We’re testing again next week with people calling in as well as doing it online. I just can’t wait, because the better it gets before it goes public, the more it will fly. Hell, you can never enough feedback.
We’re also going be testing our online market research product, The Distilleries. It’s not as well advanced as the legal service, but again it will be cool to see the product being put through its paces. This is going to happen every few weeks for several months now as we accelerate the development.
In fact it’s been a frenzy of customer feedback recently because I was also presenting the results of some in depth interviews that I did with 10 boat owners for a Corporate. It never ceases to amaze me what you can learn from simply talking to target customers. If you ask the right questions and listen well, people love to talk about subjects they are interested in or feel strongly about. It can make an amazing difference to what you end up doing. Yet curiously so many entrepreneurs neglect to do it enough.
In the start up phase before you are making money from your new babies, this customer feedback is incredibly useful, not only because it ensures that you are going in the right direction, but also because it connects you to lots of other people. It’s life affirming. It shows you that you haven’t gone mad when you sacrificed your job or lifestyle to pursue your dream. After all, you’re going to provide these people with something better, something that they couldn’t get in the same way before you turned up. Oh, I do just love feedback, even if it tells me I haven’t got it right yet! So make sure your getting your regular feedback fix. You’ll feel much better for it!