Grow Faster By Saying No To Bad-Fit Customers

“One big reason we were successful is that we identified our ideal customer profile early, and we owned it, and then we really targeted them.

“When you can start saying NO is when your trajectory starts taking off.

“In the beginning, you’re just so desperate for anything, that you don’t realize you’re actually hurting yourself. I think that was a big lesson for us.

I love hearing former founders reveal their most valuable learnings on the Practical Founders Podcast about 30 minutes into our conversation.

Like that gem from Sean Meister on the podcast this week.

That’s what product-market fit feels like:

Your business starts moving faster with happier customers

as a result of…

finally being able to say NO to the wrong customers.

Focus and saying no is a requirement of product-market fit.

But you don’t start out that way. You start out wide, experimenting with all kinds of customers and product features until you see where your best focus can be.

Survival mode with startup experiments at first. To figure out where to focus and when to say no.

Then, double down and focus on the best customer for you, with just the right product features and pricing for only those customers.

It’s harder than it looks to find a focus and start saying no.

But survival mode and saying yes to everyone just doesn’t scale. It’s a phase you have to grow out of.

Thanks for sharing this and other insights on the Practical Founders Podcast this week, Sean.

Check out this interview with Sean Meister on the Practical Founders Podcast.


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