Find your “teacher customer.”

Berkonomics

Your customers know what they want more than you do. This week’s insight came from personal experience and from a good friend who advanced the notion of the “teacher-customer” years ago. The customer would be the first to receive the new functionality in a new release.

Custom 263

Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?

Berkonomics

There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition. What competition would you face?

Here’s how NOT to define your competition

Berkonomics

An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. We have no competition.”. Your potential customers could choose “do nothing.”. It could be that a larger competitor has met with its customers, promising to extend its product line into this very niche.

Be careful how you define your competition.

Berkonomics

Professional investors laugh when they hear an entrepreneur state, “We have no competition.” Email readers, continue here.] Consider the state of the economy. It could be that a larger competitor has met with its customers, promising to extend its product line into this very niche. So, do your homework especially well by putting yourself into the minds of your potential customers.

Your customers are telling you “Wiw Wiw Wiw!”

Berkonomics

Customer empowerment is moving so fast nowadays that many of us are running to just catch up. Blame the Internet for this rise in customer expectations. But don’t close your eyes to the fact that your customers have grown to expect your products or services in the form of….

Custom 207

Find your “teacher-customer.”

Berkonomics

Your customers know what they want more than you do. Find one to teach you. This insight came from personal experience and from a good friend who advanced the notion of the “teacher-customer” years ago. Email readers continue here.] This is not to bend this insight into a claim that a company should wait to develop new, groundbreaking products and services until a customer asks for them.

Custom 139

Master of Customer Acquisition, Matt Coffin, On Startups …

Both Sides of the Table

He is very hands-on and helpful – especially for any company looking into customer acquisition. o On 1/11/05 his daughter was born at 8AM, at 6 PM email showing first million dollar rev day for the company and 8 PM term sheet from Experian to buy the company – all on the same day!

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

As organizations we have become more open and I believe this is great for businesses and their customers. We spent time out in the marketplace talking with customers, looking at their solutions, comparing ourselves with our competition and then squirreling ourselves away in our offices designing our next set of features. some came from our customer service, some were to improve performance / scalability from tech ops, some were bug fixes, etc.)

Faster is sometimes more valuable than better.

Berkonomics

Dell is a great example of emphasis upon fast, creating a customized computer in 48 hours or less, bringing in assemblies and components just-in-time to make the assembly line. Dell’s response would be something like “Quality custom computers more quickly than the competition.”

Five ways to make your company stand out.

Berkonomics

Certainly Walmart, Target and others have gotten the attention of their potential customers using price as the primary leader to drive sales. There must be at least several companies out there right now positioning to compete with you.

How to protect your company lists and trade secrets

Berkonomics

Email readers, continue here…] You can expect to have the same attitude if a past employee resurfaces after a layoff, resignation or after being fired, with a plan for a competitive business – or as an employee of a competitor.

Boy! If I had only learned this before spending a million!

Berkonomics

Know your market and competition, or don’t spend a dime on anything else. In this case, the competition was not from a company but a new technology. There is no competition.” To state “there is no competition” is always the most-red of all flags to an investor.

How to make your recurring revenues oil and not glue

Berkonomics

Depending upon the type of business, customers are loyal often because they are creatures of habit, enjoying the existing relationship and service, not wanting to disrupt a working resource. The customers are happy and the company profitable.

.Net 248

Why buy IT? Why buy MINE? Why buy NOW?

Berkonomics

Is your product or service one that responds to a customer need, real or perceived? In general, there are three types of products or services: those a customer needs, those a customer wants, an d those a customer believes he does not want or need.

Sales 248

Do you want to control your business destiny?

Berkonomics

Each new customer, each mention in the press or online adds to the feeling of early accomplishment. This moment is not to be spoiled by such mundane warnings from advisors or consultants to plan carefully, research the market and competition, and execute the plan with tenacity and enthusiasm.

How to think like a growth CEO

Berkonomics

What if we could do it better, do it in a new way, do it to attract new customers, do it to distance ourselves form the competition? Can we rapid prototype this idea into a product and try it out on potential customers? Email readers, continue here…] What works?

Can you overcome five risks and create wealth?

Berkonomics

One way to mitigate this is by using early money to create a prototype, to perform market research, to complete the first generation of the product, or to deliver the service to a satisfied customer. And fifth: Competitive risk. .

Cast your net where the big fish swim.

Berkonomics

But for most, the true sign of success and potential for even more is in the landing of a major account, one that validates the pricing, quality and competitive advantages of a company’s offering. This is one of those “My dad used to say” homilies.

.Net 255

Are you thinking of the end game when managing your business?

Berkonomics

Even small community service-providers can be sold to buyers hungry to get into a business already in revenue with a steady customer base. Is your value proposition for an eventual buyer that you have some secret sauce that allows you to compete more effectively against competition?

Class 248

How to battle the dragon AND avoid the encounter.

Berkonomics

Well, even though that acquisition is still playing itself out on the field of battle, it appears quite clear that the new parent has directed its new subsidiary to abandon the lower end of the market and focus upon the larger sales, corporate customers, and major brands.

How is your corporate and personal credibility?

Berkonomics

He stated that everything rides upon his credibility when he declares that he can produce a quality product on time, especially when his competition has faltered attempting to do so.

What two words are most valuable for your business planning?

Berkonomics

Email readers, continue here…] Another CEO in the group offered his experience with the question chain relative to the availability of isotopes for his company’s medical instrument customers in the event of political turmoil in the countries where the nuclear material was exported.

.Net 156

Catch up to your market or be lost!

Berkonomics

Over the years, I have often heard the complaint from CEO friends that they have become so swamped by the demands of their growing businesses that they feel themselves further and further from the center of their industry, no longer at the forefront of information and competitive development.

Marketing and big data: Finding that needle in the haystack

Berkonomics

Email readers, continue here…] Consider the soon–to–be grandmother checking for gifts for her pregnant daughter. She visits your site for information but does not buy and doesn’t leave an email address for information.

Don’t make assertions that will later prove untrue.

Berkonomics

An estimate of the number of customers, of the amount of traffic to your website, of the numbers of products sold or hours spent in development – there are thousands of areas where a number sounds better when it is larger.

Custom 216

Niche marketing works. Here’s how.

Berkonomics

Email readers, continue here…]. You’ll have less competition. Competition is good, but – if there are hundreds of businesses out there that already have gotten to and penetrated this niche – you’re going to find it hard to get through the marketing noise.

I Know Everybody Told You to Send Your Fund-Raising Decks as a Link.

Both Sides of the Table

I know that you can use an email system with this to track my open rate, whether I forwarded the email, the IP address where I read it, whether I was on a mobile device or a wired computer and you can tell who else read the document. If it’s in a link in an email with an expired link you can certainly stop a VC from thinking about you again but I’m not sure how that furthers your agenda. Competition isn’t won or lost by your marketing decks?—?it’s

You name the price; I’ll name the terms.

Berkonomics

Email readers, continue here…] There are so many ways to satisfy a seller, sometimes a seller’s ego, by making a price seem higher than the reality of the purchase.

Facebook Doesn’t Seem to Care

Eric Greenspan

They have the worst customer service of any company I deal with. If you have an issue renaming or merging a page, you get an email that says “denied.” Can you email them? They know it and so do their competition. Creator of mind blowing customer experiences. I’ve spent tens of thousands on Facebook ads for my companies and for clients’ I have built and manage many pages. I often have issues that need Facebook’s attention.

Email 156

High Functioning vs. Low Functioning Startup Boards

Both Sides of the Table

Here are some observations I have from this exposure: If a company moves from strength-to-strength with predictable outcomes, easy financings, low staff turn-over, limited competitive threats then the composition of the board probably doesn’t matter as much.

Real Startups Never, Ever Discount Their Prices

InfoChachkie

However, habitual discounting at a startup is self-defeating, as it reinforces your customers'' proclivity to delay their purchases, patiently waiting for you to reduce your prices. Invite such prospective customers to join your Product Advisory Council.

The five kinds of risk in building your business

Berkonomics

Email readers, continue here…] Second is product risk. Not only is the enterprise threatened, but confidence is shaken among employees, suppliers, even customers. Fourth is competitive risk , which consists of two separate risks.

Startup Pricing: Are You Selling A Giffen Product?

InfoChachkie

A recurring entrepreneurial challenge is to determine the optimal price of a new product, especially absent a directly competitive alternative. When we launched GoToAssist, we offered our customers the option to brand the customer-facing webpages with their logo and brand colors.

How many innovations are carefully planned?

Berkonomics

Most innovations come from responding to a customer’s needs, or finding a niche where products need improvement or extension. Imagine the room in which several graduate business school student groups have gathered, tasked with coming up with an idea for a business plan competition.

Ideas 204

Flippers vs Keepers–At times earnings don’t matter

Berkonomics

They financed their companies, to the extent possible, in a manner minimizing the cost of capital, planning for organic growth in the number of customers served and in associated revenues. They are also very competitive, and highly value the intellectual property of the Flipper.