Toke Kruse
27-11-2012

 

If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you probably tend to spread yourself far too thin. And, like me, through the years you’ve probably made things more complicated than they needed to be.

The famous visionary Antoine de Saint-Exupery, an aviator and writer, once said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Nearly 75 years later, that quote still rings true for me in my business: create a product that’s simple, straightforward, and gives your customers exactly what they need and they’ll flock to you.

Is less really more?

Many in the business world have been conditioned to think that more is better. But when has more complicated really ever been better for anyone?

Hyper-focus your product

It’s a simple concept: a targeted audience needs a targeted product.

The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it in business anymore. Clients are looking for products that fit their one major problem. And, for small business owners and entrepreneurs, complicated accounting is out. Simple, straightforward needs-based online accounting is in.

Why waste tens of thousands of dollars developing a product without targeting a specific type of customer’s, client’s or industry’s needs? By targeted your audience and creating a product that satisfies their exact and most important needs, you can save thousands of dollars, or even much, much more, in terms of (a) wasted development costs and (b) lost potential sales.

A perfect illustration is the company nearly every woman has heard about: Spanx. Founder Sara Blakely saw an unfulfilled market need, personally: unsightly panty lines. Knowing that she wasn’t the only woman frustrated by the lack of any good, easily-available solution to this single problem, she set out to create a product that solved it.

Naturally, Sara had her skeptics – but with a dream and perseverance, she was able to give a targeted audience a targeted product that solved their problem. As a result, Spanx has practically become a household name among females, and Sara Blakely has earned herself a coveted spot on Forbes Billionaires List.

Streamline and simplify

Identifying your target audience is just the first step in product creation. Figuring out what they truly need is key.

I like to remember the age-old adage: Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS), which is essentially the crux of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s advice. By presenting a simple solution to a complex problem, you give your customers exactly what they need. Perfection!

Modern-day SIMPLE success

When Apple Macintosh first emerged in the 80’s, industry “experts” and analysts all but doomed them to failure. The experts never believed that consumers would pay double the price of an existing product. But, you see, the “experts” didn’t really understand the problem. Consumers wanted a computer that was easy and simple to use. And, as the success of Apple demonstrates, consumers were willing to pay double to get a product that truly and simply solved their problem. Since then, Apple has diversified its product lineup while still giving the consumers exactly what they want: simple, straightforward, easy-to-use products in an attractive package.

The genius of imagination

Albert Einstein once said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Statistics show that greater than 70% of small businesses in the United States are owned by a single entrepreneur. Skills, vision and resources can only take a small business so far; innovation and creativeness propel the small business to success.

By hyper-focusing your product for your target audience, you’re able to spend more time and resources developing a better product, while getting to know your audience better than ever before.

I hope I’ve inspired you to get creative and innovative in your quest to develop a targeted product for your targeted audience.

All the best,

Toke Kruse

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