People dream about starting a business at least once in their lives. Some can start a start-up themselves, join an early startup team, or work in a company’s new business department. Still, others might start a small business, like frying chicken or cooking something else. If we think about this trend in a more broad angle, half of us will experience being in start-ups in our lifetime.
It is a time of unpredictability. With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, industrial and technological volatility has grown. Small issues that may have appeared in local newspapers have expanded to become nationwide issues through social media. With the advent of disruptive, innovative companies, competition among companies has become fiercer, and new trends have made it difficult to predict customers’ demands. This change has resulted in the emergence of new types of customers. Existing companies are breaking away from traditional corporate processes and responding to changes through new business departments and in-house start-up policies. Prospective entrepreneurs are also responding to new types of customers through new businesses. After all, the point is ‘being a customer.
The only necessary and sufficient condition for a start-up is having a customer. The client in this context is someone who is willing to pay for the product or service sold. Even if a start-up company has released innovative, technology-based products, it is useless without customers. When 100 different products are released in the market, more than 90 of them will not be accepted by customers and thus disappear from the market eventually. This is because there are products that customers do not actually need. The price may have been too high compared to the benefits of the product, or there may have been a more useful alternative. The sales network may have had difficulties reaching target customers, or there may have been a lack of sufficient promotion strategies to attract customers’ attention. Perhaps, with the addition of convenience features to differentiate itself from competitors, it has launched a ridiculously expensive and complex all-around product. There are few customers who will pay large amounts for functions that will not be used often.
After all, it’s all about customers. It doesn’t matter if you start a business or get a job and project something. There should be a client at the heart of one’s goal. Start-up items should address customers’ inconveniences, and companies’ strategies should focus on increasing customer value. Think about how I would react to corporate messages if I were a customer myself.
(Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship and Small Business)