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The most common mistake that startup businesses make is assuming they can follow the same model as franchises. Take McDonalds for example, that franchise could choose any location within a city and know that they will at least breakeven. Why? Their customers already know what type of atmosphere, product and customer service they’ll receive.

The mistake that startup business make is thinking they can function the same way. The majority of startup businesses open their doors and expect to make a fortune without first creating a product or service with their customers. In order to be successful, you need to acquire customer feedback.  Customer feedback is crucial if you want a product that fits the needs of your customers.

What Is Customer Development?

Creating a product then taking the idea to the public is the foundation to customer development. Customer development focuses on creating a product on the needs of your customers. Create and brainstorm for ideas on a product that would resolve the needs of your customers. Present those ideas to your customers while asking for feedback on those ideas. After feedback is given tweak your product to better suit the needs of your ideal customer.

Your focus on this experiment is to see if your customer base sees value in your future product.

Search for an audience that will benefit most from your services. Find people who have unanswered questions or problems where your services could provide solutions. Don’t get lazy by presenting your ideas and product to close friends and family.

When receiving feedback from your customers don’t be frustrated if you don’t receive a positive response. The purpose of customer development is to identify weaknesses in your product before you invest more time and money into it. Consider this feedback as gold and be open to new ideas. If you listen closely to your customers, you’ll develop a product that is much more valuable in their eyes.

When your product ideas don’t align with your customer market- reevaluate your core assumptions. It’s important that you look at what you’re really trying to produce. See what element is missing then implement the correct changes to gain enthusiasm from your customer.

Take into consideration that your product or service could be more profitable for a different market. If all aspects have been proven wrong then go back to the drawing board. Products that fulfill the needs of a specific market are those that create large amounts of money.


The purpose of customer development is to test your hypothesis about your brand, product and services. This process allows your assumptions to be proven wrong or right by your purchasing market. This procedure will perfect your product. Why, because it will be a genuine response and solution to your customer’s problems.