Understand Product-Market Fit Before Starting Your Business

In starting a few companies, I’ve learned the painful but much needed lesson of having the right product for the right market. When these are aligned, you get paid and have customers. When these are not aligned you don’t get customers – or at least not enough customers.

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your company. One of the most critical areas to focus on is product-market fit. The idea of product-market fit is relatively simple. It is the process of creating a product that satisfies the needs of your target audience. In other words, it means identifying what your customers want and building a product that meets their needs and expectations.

Identifying What Your Customers Want

The first step in achieving product-market fit is identifying what your customers want. This means understanding your target audience, what they need, and how your product can meet those needs. You can achieve this through market research, focus groups, and surveys. By gathering data, you can gain insight into your customer’s pain points, which can help you create a product that solves their problems.

Surveys, talking to customers and observing customers is great, and needed. But the true test is when you sell the product to customers and if they buy or don’t buy. This is when you really get to test the product, your marketing, sales and more!

Finding Customers Who Have a Pain First

It’s essential to find customers who have a pain point you can address with your product. A great way to identify these pain points is to monitor social media, blogs, and forums where your target audience spends their time. By understanding the issues that matter most to your customers, you can design products that meet their needs.

Building a Product that Meets a Customer’s Problem

Once you have identified your target audience and their pain points, it’s time to build a product that solves their problems. This involves creating a product that fills a gap in the market, providing a unique solution to a customer’s problem. Your product design process should involve customer feedback so that you can make changes that ensure your product meets their needs as accurately as possible.

Watch Out for Vanity Metrics

Finally, when evaluating product-market fit, it is essential to avoid relying on vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are typically quantitative and can be easily manipulated to make it look like your product is doing better than it is. Instead, focus on metrics like customer retention, customer satisfaction, and engagement, which will give you a realistic picture of your product’s success in the market.

Related articles: Are You Celebrating the Right Success?(Opens in a new browser tab)


Product-market fit is critical for small business owners looking to create successful products. By understanding your target audience and identifying their pain points, you can build a product that meets their needs. Remember to watch out for vanity metrics and focus on data that will give you a realistic picture of your product’s success in the market. By following these steps, you can achieve product-market fit and create a product that satisfies your customers’ needs.

Related: 6 Key Financial Metrics Small Business Owners Need for Better Decision Making(Opens in a new browser tab)

Get Genius Insights for Your Business

Don’t Miss Out. Get Genius Insights for Your Business.