He had been working on a solution to a market problem (market friction). He finally came up with a very novel product .
His family and colleagues liked the product as it helps to solve that friction he observed.But, what is the next thing in having an innovation?
He did not know what he needed to do in order to have a successful product that would bring him to the limelight.
You see, that entrepreneur had succeeded in creating the supply side of the market. This is very great and good because it is needed in the market equation.
Having a product is just one side of the coin. He needed to create the demand side of the market.
The demand side is the marketing and sales of the product. An entrepreneur needs to take the solution to those that he created it for, they may not be aware that a solution exists.
When an entrepreneur succeeds in taking a new product to those that it is made for, he will succeed in creating both the supply and the demand sides of his business.
Whether supply creates its own demand or demand creates supply, there is a demand and a supply in every product.
That is why the interest of this analysis is to consider what takes place between the product and the prospects in a business model. This is the fourth part of the guide on developing a business model.
Bridging the Gap Between a Product and a Prospect
The first thing I learnt in my days in high school(secondary school) was that until a product gets to the final consumer, production is not complete. I see this to be more than a fact, that innovation is only complete when it is used as explained in 3S Rules and Tekedia.
But taking a product or solution to the prospects involves some element to consider. We have two forms of products, digital products and non-digital products.
While the process of taking a product to a consumer is longer for non-digital products, the process is shorter for a digital product.
However, let’s see what need to be fixed in the gap between product and prospect;
Selling a product to a customer or client is a promise that what you said your product will do is true. You are promising them that you will make the delivery of the product they are buying.
Buying from you is a commitment of trust. The entrepreneur needs not to destroy this trust by ensuring it fulfills the promise he made.
In e-commerce, we often hear of Amazon’s fulfilment, it simply means the process it takes for an order to get delivered to the customers. So in your business model, you must consider what you need, to take that product to the customer in a way that he is satisfied with.
This applies to mainly non-digital products or physical products. In order for the goods to get to the buyer you must transport it to the location of the buyer.
For instance, in the agribusiness space. The farmer plants some crops and after some time he harvest the farm produce.
The aggregators buy and transport these produce from the farms to the market and the produce get transported from the market to the table. You see that the food moves in three stages before getting to the table.
The same is applicable to other physical products. You need to consider logistics which include, transportation and storage of goods.
This should be mapped out in your business model.
Customer Support Service:
There is always marketing to be done after sales completion. This form of marketing will make the customer build more trust in your business. You know, more trust brings more patronage and customer retention.
You need to provide customer support so he will be guided in using the product. Without customer support, the buyer may have a bad experience with your product.
For example, how will you use a new product you have not used before. You definitely need support from the company to guide you in order to be able to use such a product. Customer support service may come in different ways.
For instance in Codecitty, we develop digital platforms (website, mobile app, blockchain etc) for clients. Our customer support is to train the IT head on how to manage the backend of the platform and we also provide technical support when the need arises.
Doing these will help you to bridge the gap between your product and the prospect. But, it will be better if you can model this in your business model so as to be able to plan towards their execution.