We have seen that nobody really cares for you unless you are able to connect your offering with them and their lives. That is a great place to start but we need to move ahead. The next big question is "Whom do you want to serve?" Many startups (and some established businesses too) believe that the entire universe is their prospect. While it is wonderful to have such a massive idea, it distorts reality because not everybody can be your customer, even in your chosen segment.
Let me share a fascinating conversation I had with a POS (Point of Sale) software product developer to illustrate this caveat better.When I asked him who his target is, Pat came his response “Every retailer”. A truly grandiose statement, considering that he is a first-time entrepreneur and was bootstrapping his venture with limited loans from friends and family. Committed to help him get his initial customers and concerned that he may dilute his limited resources, I posed him the next question. “Would Ram stores at the corner of this street be your customer?”. He thought for a while and said “No because he cannot afford the infrastructure”. Happy that he is on the right path, I asked him “Well, then what about Big Bazaar?”. He took more time to respond and said “Not a chance! They would want more sophisticated systems to monitor multiple departments” I was now pleased that this person is well grounded and asked “If the corner retailer and a big chain cannot be your customers, then who is more likely to be?” I think he got the point because he did not respond immediately. After a while he said “I need to think about this. But I am now clear that every retailer is not and cannot be my customer, atleast at this point of time” I saluted his wisdom and willingness to learn rather than be stuck with an impractical notion. Why is this impractical? Allow me to give you a preview
People have lost their shirts and more because they believed that ‘every restaurant, every retailer, every chronic patient, every xxxxx is my customer”I rest my case