3 Tips for Proving Product-Market Fit
For female founders looking to raise capital to scale their business, proving a high degree of product-market fit is key. The process of determining your product-market fit can take some time and market research. To make it a bit easier, a few of our favorite female founders and investors shared three tips for proving product-market fit with Project Entrepreneur.
1. Think about product-market fit the way an investor would.
Susan Stone, Founder and CEO of Sierra Wasatch Capital and Vanessa Green, Co-founder and CEO of FINsix, shared some helpful insight during a recent Project Entrepreneur Summit in Los Angeles. A major takeaway: think about product-market fit the way your investors would. According to Stone and Green, female founders will know that they have achieved product-market fit when they have a consistent and repeatable pattern of customers buying the product. Be sure that you can demonstrate this purchasing pattern for investors.
Also, consider your total market and make sure you can answer the following questions: Who is your target customer? Are you providing your customer with a product or a service? Does your target customer even want to purchase your product or service? Do you have a large and stable customer base?
2. Become an expert on how your target market interacts with your product.
Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO and Founder of Zola, encourages female founders to know the ins and outs of how target customers interact with their products and services. Ma sought interviewed as many couples as she could to find out what wasn’t working and how she could fix these problems through updated design and technology. Once she had figured out how she wanted to change her registry site, Ma created paper sketch mockups of what it would look like and how it would work, allowing her to quickly get feedback from users. Armed with new insight into the user experience, Ma created new prototypes and would return to her test pool, getting new reactions from the same people who reviewed the previous iterations.
3. Use crowdfunding to test the strength of your product-market fit.
Karen Cahn, CEO of iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform for women-led startups and small businesses, makes a good case for female founders to use crowdfunding to test their product-market fit. “Investors view a crowdfund as an initial gate to prove there’s a market, and some venture capitalists require a crowdfund before investing,” says Cahn. Crowdfunding can also be an important part of not only proving product-market fit, but also refining your marketing strategy and getting customer feedback—all things that investors are interested in seeing before deciding to invest.