The NxtStep Process: Achieving success for your product business

by Sean Boyce

If you’ve been following along, our previous articles have outlined the exact process we use to successfully bring a product to market using helpful tools (such as the Lean Canvas) as an outline. In this article, we’re going to outline our entire process so you can see what you should be doing and when to achieve success for your product based business.

Finding your market

While it may seem counterintuitive, the first step in the process is NOT building a great product. The best idea in the world isn’t worth very much if it doesn’t generate value for your customers. Rather, seek to understand the problems that people have, with the goal of satisfying the needs of a particular market vertical through the use of what will eventually become your product.

At this stage, your goal is to find the obvious unmet need. This is achieved by conducting a substantial number of problem interviews with potential customers. Find more details on exactly how to do that here.

Transforming your data into an idea

Once you have the results of your initial interviews, you should be able to ask yourself questions that will help you design your product. What problem is common to the largest number of your interviewees? Is there a segment of the market (market vertical) that is more frustrated by this problem than the group as a whole, and is the problem significant enough to the point where they are will to pay for access to your hypothetical product to solve it?

At this point, you should be able to start formulating your product idea. You will now interview the same people from your first group of potential customers who seemed the most motivated to have their problem solved. The next step, is to test your new product idea. Find more details on exactly how to do this here. The purpose of this test is to determine if the product you are proposing will actually solve their problem.  If it will, are they willing to use it? If they’re willing to use it, does it generate enough value for them that they are willing to pay for it? The outcome of the second phase of the process, is to determine if there is enough validity here to actually build a product. Keep in mind, we’re not just trying to build a good product, we’re trying to build a great business.

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Bringing your product to life

You now have a product designed, validated, and an initial set of early-adopter customers who are not just willing to use it, but pay for access as well. At this point, you are ready to design and build your Minimum Viable Product or MVP.  Find more details about this process here.

The outcome for the third phase of our system is to validate that your product delivers on its promises. Does it solve the customer’s problem? Is your product intuitive to use and does it provide a great user experience (UX)?

The next step is to begin measuring the value your customer receives for investing in your product. A big milestone in the history of a successful product business is validity. If you have one or more case studies to prove the return on investment (ROI) is positive for your customers (they are saving time and/or money) then you are on your way to achieving product/market fit.  Now it’s off to the races. Don’t get comfortable, though. This ride is only just beginning.

If you have a product idea that you’d like to bring to the world, NxtStep can help you turn that idea into a successful product business. Lean more by booking a free product strategy call today or send us an email at hello@nxtstep.io.

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