No matter your industry of choice, whether you are an independent contractor, entrepreneur, small business, or startup, if you want to be efficient, you will need to be a lean manufacturer. To accomplish this, the first step is often to fully establish what features of a product your specific customers are willing to pay for relative to the process.
Complete a Value Stream Map
The value stream map helps evaluate the efficiency of your current business processes relative to where you want to take it and the current resources available. Completing a value stream map is critical to any lean manufacturing process. It identifies what features of a product your customers are willing to pay for, which increases the likelihood of developing a successful product in as economical a manner as possible.
Start with Your Niche
The better you know your client, the more likely you will be inside their heads and able to predict their wants quickly. Creating an ideal customer avatar is the best way to know your market fully. You must get as specific as possible about their demographics. This includes economic, sociographic, beliefs, hobbies, and favorite brands. In this way, even though the actual “avatar” you are targeting is very specific, you can create honest copy across all platforms that speak to the heart. The idea is that many of your potential customers will be able to resonate with your genuine words and the solution(s) your small business provides, as opposed to feeling exposed to slimy marketing.
Once you know exactly who you are talking to when you write, get obsessive. Get passionate. If you are making and doing something you love as an entrepreneur, small business, or startup, it will be easy to go deep. Only once you know exactly what features of a product your customers are willing to pay for, can you begin to build that dream you have been putting off. Start with what you love and use the resources you have. Research everything, including industry market demand, potential materials, materials sourcing, etc., and move up from there.
If you need to build in a lean way, and if you are an efficient business owner, you will definitely need to, then do what you can to get yourself off the ground. Manufacture lean and grow strong. Do not be afraid to do your research.
If you have a great idea for a new product or anything else for your business, here are some resources that can help you!