Where are your first customers and how Smilijan Mori moves the bounderies in the heads of more than 100 startupers

The afternoon started like every other Tuesday of November, with a practical workshop, this time about »How to reach first customers.« Aljoša Huber, an experienced entrepreneur with experiences ranging from middle to small companies, as well as a renowned startup mentor, led the workshop. 

He  emphasized  that in a startup it is imperative to be working on three things:
  1. Working on a product and developing it until it is truly good. This is to ensure that your product delivers a big added value to your customers. We talked about product development in cooperation with users on one of the previous Start:up Workshops.   
  2. Working on developing your market. This means that you are intensely looking for a segment of customers that is prepared to purchase your idea. Primarily this is the job of the salespeople in your company. They should find customers, for whom the product can satisfy a need/pain.
  3. Working on your team. It is important for a startup to have a team that is capable of doing all previously mentioned things at once and do so successfully.
Furthermore, he emphasized, that all entrepreneurs have to constantly check their assumptions with customers. First customers can be found by checking our idea, solution, product or service with the segments of customers that we think are the right ones. Only then, when we check our ideas with potential customers, can we find the right customers. 

Customers can be categorized into two sections. Business as a customer also known as a Business to Business, business model (B2B) or an individual as a customer also known as Business to Customer business model (B2C). When looking for customers we are watchful of the ones that have a similar problem as our product is solving. After we find them, we have to ask whether the solution fulfills their needs or if they are looking for something more. On the basis of checking with and defining the customer, we develop the right product for the right segment of customers.

On startup Tuesday, Kibla was breaking by the seams

The afternoon soon became evening and it was time for the traditional meetup of the Maribor startup community. It was a bit different this time, as instead of a moderated discussion, we hosted Smiljan Mori, one of the more talented and perspective motivational speakers of our time. As expected, Smiljan filled the final Start:up Müsli of November to the absolute brim. We overcame our fear and started to realize our dreams. 

So what did we learn? With everything that we do in life, it is important to think, whether this thing makes us happy and whether we are doing it for ourselves. We have to do this because of internal goals, motivate us much more, than if we do something for other's sake. So we have to find in us that which makes our heart tick or in other words the reason why we do what we do, as only this can get us out of the bed in the morning. 

Smiljan also touched the field of sales and said that sales are for him the most basic expression of love, or, that he cares for someone. However, everything depends on how you feel about sales. It is important to realize what the result of a successful sale is. For an entrepreneur that's money and for the customer is is a better life (relative to the purchased product). A lot of people, however, do not like sales, because they can't bear to hear the word "NO". But, we are not afraid of people saying "No" to our sale, instead, we are afraid that people will say "No" to us as a personality. Often times, those who sell, equate "NO" with their pride. 
»At the end, it matters that you can also close the sale. In the case that you cannot score the goal or close the sale, you are just an entertainer and not a salesman.«

Often in life, something negative happens to us, whether we failed at something, or an injustice happens to us and we are angry at the whole world. A door closes and we don't see an exit. In that exact moment, the worst thing we can do is spend too much time focusing on the current events. However, the things that happen to us are not important, the meaning that we assign to these is important. The time, that passes from the moment something negative happened to the moment that we are ready to look back and see something positive in that thing, is the biggest factor for depression, indecisiveness, and monotony of life. That is why successful people make decisions fast, analyze the resulting situation, be it positive or negative and again make a decision fast and move forward. It is important to realize that our past is not our present. 

Author: NataĊĦa Rus, 27.11.2016
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