productivity

Cater to Your Existing Customers Instead of Enticing New Ones

A couple of days ago, Path.To announced that it was shutting its service. The job-posting site ended its two-year run with a blog post on lessons that might have saved their business. One of them, in particular, stood out:

Build for the customers you already have.

"We spent a lot of our time trying to make Path.To better by adding new features, adjusting our pricing strategy and trying to make it available to as many people as possible. While important, it's the existing customers that really matter. If you remember to focus and appreciate the users that you have, they'll do the work of sending more people your way." - Kristin Gattis, Path.To People Person

All too often, startups -- and even successful businesses -- start looking to entice new users rather than making sure the product is refined for the existing base.

A great example of this is how Microsoft looked to change things with Windows 8 and get new users, but ignored their loyal customers -- and are now backtracking in Windows 8.1 by reintroducing the Start button that was removed earlier.

The advice is echoed by author Kurt Vonnegut in his 8 tips for writing fiction, one of which is: "Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia."

That one person you would write for is arguably someone you already know, and someone who enjoys your writing.

The bottom line is that for the continued success of a project, you need to first service those who are already using it rather than look for new users. As the old adage goes, a bird in hand...

Six Lessons That Might Have Saved Our Business Had We Learned Them Earlier | Path.to
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