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The Rule of 85 - Avoid Startup Failures from a Customer-First Strategy

“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” – Lisa Stone, CEO and co-founder of BlogHer

Everybody has heard the age-old decree what the customer is always right, and not without good reason. A business exists to create and provide value to its target market, and consequently, listening to one's customers greatly assists in understanding market gaps such that your unique offering can indeed provide value to your customer base. Yet, when taken too far, a customer-first approach can indeed lead to catastrophic business failure; at first, this decree may seam a bit paradoxical. How can listening to your target market and augmenting your market offering to provide what they desire be a recipe for failure? Well, the answer lies in the most important statistic your startup should live by

88 percent of online consumers are less likely to return to your business after a bad experience. In fact, 58 percent of people stop doing business with a company because of poor customer experience.

Online shoppers don't give out second chances. Period; this is the crux of the issue with a customer first strategy. Your initial market offering cannot come from your customers: you have none. And herein lies the fatal decision many business will make. They will fail to spend adequate time perfecting their initial market offering under the expectation that their eventual customers will tell them what they desire, where their offering will then be consistently iterated upon based on this feedback. Well, first impressions matter, and going to market with a sub-par offering will lead to a permanent loss of customers. Consumers will not give you a buffer period to give them the customer experience they want, let alone assist you in crafting the customer experience they want. If your market offering is inadequate, you've likely lost that customer forever.

Startups can avoid this by following Youshie's Rule of 85

Consequently, your business' initial market offerings needs to create a good enough customer experience to not deter potential customers. But this is a double edge sword, as much of the knowledge required to make a great customer experience is in the possession of potential customers, waiting to be shared with your business. This is where the Rule of 85 comes in. Your goal as a startup should not be to create a perfect market offering, such a reality is not possible. Instead, you should identify what you intelligently believe a perfect market offering to be in extreme detail, and aim to launch with an offering that is 80-85 percent there. This way, your offering will be good enough to not only attract some customers, but more importantly avoid permanently losing others. Then, listening to your customer to perfect your market offering is not only possible, but encouraged.

Don't stretch your offering too thin

Above all, first impressions matter for your business, and your goal as a business owner is to ensure that you go to market with an offering wholly capable of making a good impression. Yet, we encourage caution in the way that this offering is created in line with a customer-first strategy. It may seem desirable to craft your initial market offering in such a way to offer a high degree of flexibility and customizability with the hopes of appealing to a wide range of customer needs and wants in leu of being relatively blind to what potential customers may desire from your initial offering. However, we once more site the most important statistic for your startup: first impressions matter! By building a flexible and customizable market offering, by definition, you stretch your offering too thin. In other words, for a fixed amount of time, an offering that is more customizable, focussing on a wide range of features, will provide a worse customer experience for each individual feature and provided product and/or service than that which focusses on doing a small subset of features really well. Many of times, especially with startups competing with big companies, it is much more important to find a niche differentiating aspect, and deliver on that aspect extremely well, than to try to do everything, and do alright on each individual item; this is essentially an argument for specialization. Focus on what you believe provides the most value to your target market, and ensure the resulting customer experience is really good.

How Youshie can help your business secure a lasting competitive advantage

A mobile app can help your business secure a competitive advantage in a crowded market, assisting to build long-lasting brand equity. Yet, building a quality iOS and Android app is far easier said than done, with respect to both ongoing development difficulty and cost alike; many development companies will charge 6 figures for developing an e-commerce app, not including ongoing development costs.

This is where we come in. Youshie's platform is built from the ground up for small businesses, giving your business its very own iOS and Android app to drive revenues, accompanied with back-end software to manage products, sales, and data-driven insights; there are no development costs involved, and we can get your app up and running in less than a month! Our mission is to assist your small business' e-commerce growth, and we can do that with a mobile app experience that makes it as extremely easy and enjoyable to view and purchase your products. Our unique UI/UX has yielded a 3x increase in conversions among existing clients. With built in ability to communicate to your customers via push notifications, your customer engagement will increase significantly, giving your brand a competitive advantage. Youshie let's you supercharge your business' growth without the large, up-front development costs! For more information, visit our website www.youshie.com, and get in touch with us for more information or a demo of our platform.

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