Who Are Your Startup’s Customers?

At this point, you’ve already done several interviews about the problem with your potential customers. Based on these interviews, you have a clearer picture about who your customers are.

However, you need more than just a blurry picture of them. To move on with confidence, you must present a better answer than just “women, in their 30s, with no kids.”

This is a good start. But, to properly answer to the question, you’ll have try hard to see all the pixels in that picture.

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What Is Your Startup’s Value Proposition?

When a customer is considering buying a product, she will start (consciously or unconsciously) relating its features to a possible benefit for her life.

Everything that can make her life better, she’ll consider as a value.

Well, your value proposition is all the value (in your customers perspective) you are delivering through your product or service.

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How Do You Communicate, Sell And Deliver Value To Your Customers?

At this point, you already should know a lot about your customers and your Value Proposition. Now it’s time to define how you’ll communicate, sell and deliver your value to them.

Here we have some examples of channels:

  • Online sales;
  • Sales Team;
  • Own Stores;
  • Partner Stores;
  • Social Networks;
  • Mass Merchandisers;
  • Retailers;
  • Sales Rep-firms;
  • Distributors.
  • Others….
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How Will Your Startup Get, Keep And Grow Its Customers Base?

I bet you’ve been working hard on thinking about your solution design and features. Right?

But, what about your strategy to call customers’ attention towards your product or service? What about your plan to make them start and keep using it? And how will you make them buy more from you?

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What Are Your Startup’s Key Resources?

Your decisions about your business model will demand key resources to make it run successfully.

Accordingly to Alexander Osterwalder, these resources are:

  • Physical: machines, stores, buildings, vehicles, etc.
  • Intellectual: brand, softwares, patented products or processes, etc.
  • Human: professionals that bring an advantage for the company because of their knowledge.
  • Financial: cash availability that leverages companies business model activities.
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Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works by Ash Maurya

It took me sometime to read this book because I thought it would follow much of the thoughts I’ve seen in The Lean Startup (Eric Ries) and The Startup Owner’s Manual (Steve Blank).

Indeed, once it is based on The Lean Startup methodology, Ash has naturally included its elements in Running Lean.

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What Is Your Startup’s Cash Runway?

Now that you know what is your cash burn rate, you may understand this post’s question.

Your Cash Runway is the amount of time your startup has before its cash balance turns into negative.

For example, if your startup’s cash balance is being reduced by $5,000 per month, and you have $20,000 as available cash, in 4 months your startup will be out of money.

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What Is Your Startup’s Cash Burn Rate?

Cash Burn Rate is one of the core financial metrics you have to keep in mind, all the time.

Okay, but what is it?

There are 2 different burn rates:

  • Gross Burn Rate: It’s the average amount of money, monthly consumed, to pay for your startup’s activities. In other words, it’s how much money you are spending per month to pay for salaries, rent, energy, marketing, development, services, and other expenses.
  • Net Burn Rate: It’s the average monthly negative cash flow. For this metric, you’ll consider not only your expenses, but any revenues that you might have too.
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How Relevant Is The Problem You Are Solving?

Probably, in your own life, you’ve faced the problem you’re trying to solve—in your work, with your husband, your wife, your kids, your hobbies, etc. And for that problem, you didn’t find a good solution in the market.

Maybe you are familiar with a bad situation that happens with other people and you feel compelled to help them with your knowledge on solving that issue.

You know this problem quite well. Right?

However, when you decide to build a business based on a solution you’ve created to address a problem, it is not about you and your thoughts anymore; it’s about your customers’ lives.

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