September 18: Customer Discovery, Ron Harvey, and the right way to “pivot”

On September 18, 2018, Kasie and Shennice welcomed good friend to the show, Ron Harvey into the studio. Here are the show notes.


Shennice Cleckley, The Ultimate Mompreneur

Kasie Whitener, The Queen of How

Theme for the day:

We’re working on The Lean StartUp this month and last week we talked about one of three pillars, The Feedback Loop. This week we’re talking about the second pillar, Customer Discovery and Development

Agenda review:

  • 1MC presenter – we’re still in Arts Month at 1MC and after the Hurricane cancellation last week, we have two artists scheduled for tomorrow
  • Studio guest, Ron Harvey, to promote his event
  • The Lean Startup continues with the Customer Development Cycle
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Photo by Sebastian Voortman on     Sure, it’s a fidget spinner, but a lot of our lists are “threes” today and it was what came up when we searched “Pivot”

Segment 1:

This week at 1 MC it’s our second installment of Arts Month with artist entrepreneurs Shelby LeBlanc and Lauren Dillon (Master of Plaster). We spoke to Lauren last week and will hear from Shelby today.

In the studio: Ron Harvey of Global Core Strategies & Solutions

Upcoming event: Live 2 Lead simulcast event

Segment 2:

The Lean Startup

Get Out of the Building — learning who your customers are and what they think of your product or service.

Classic ideology: the company should only focus on the parts of the product or service that the customer thinks have value; but that requires assuming you know what your customer thinks is valuable. So, you have to 1) find out who the customer is, and 2) find out what they consider to be “quality.”

Crafting a customer archetype: use this early interaction with customers to create these profiles, or ideal customers. These are hypotheses, not facts. How much time have you spent on this?

Here’s a linkto Kaufman’s take on this topic. It’s a good video. The gist is to make sure the people you’re getting feedback from are actually potential customers, not necessarily the people in your immediate network.

This story is “Getting the most out of getting out of the building” and it starts with identifying whoshould do this customer discovery. The author says everyone: product people, service people, marketing people.

Three kinds of User Feedback:

  • Generative — to generate ideas, find needs, define segments and customers
  • Evolutionary — to validate the solution, test wording and an emphasis of the value proposition
  • Quantitative — test discrete design difference, optimize flow

Segment 3:

Let’s talk about pivots.

Is pivoting a last-ditch effort or a sound business strategy?

Downsides: expensive, staffing, reputation, few startups survive a second pivot

Advantages: realign resources to better meet customers’ expressed needs; gain credibility or enthusiasm for your business.

3 Rules for a Successful Pivot

  • Be gutsy, not foolish
  • Be transparent
  • Don’t look back

Pivot or persevere?

  • Vanity metrics give false indicators of success
  • An unclear hypothesis leads to a failure to fail, without failure, there is no impetus for pivot
  • Entrepreneurs can be afraid to acknowledge failure, it’s bad for morale

4 Tips for a Successful Pivot

  • Interpret data, don’t spin it
  • Introspection is difficult
  • Be empathetic in your transition plans
  • Rip off the band-aid

How to prepare for a pivot

  • Prepare early
  • Leverage customer support
  • Be candid with your team

6 Tips for Pivoting

  1. Determine if you’re reaching the designated audience
  2. Pay attention to what your customers are telling you
  3. Communicate course changes to your employees before you make them
  4. Assess your existing skill set and make adjustments and hires as necessary
  5. Set short-term goals
  6. Test your new business strategy before proceeding

Segment 4:

Events of the week —

1 Million Cups meets at 9 a.m. at the Richland Library on Assembly Street

The Women’s Business Center of SC is hosting 12@12 with Melissa Lindler, the Director of the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities. We’ll be at Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles on Friday, Sept 21 at noon.

The Blythewood Chamber of Commerce invites you to Blythewood After Five hosted by Regal Prints today at 5:30. Register on Eventbrite.

Richland County’s Office of Small Business Opportunity has a workshop Wednesday at 10 a.m. hosted by Debi Schadel, co-founder of Flock & Rally, The topic is Marketing 101. Register for that on eventbrite.

3Phase invites you to a workshop to learn more about SBIR and STTR grants. That’s a Department of Commerce program happening today so if you’re just now hearing about it, you’re missing it. But there will be another one. So check out the registration and figure out if this is for you. Register for it on eventbrite.

Q&A — anything from the social platforms, shout outs to those following on Twitter, FB, etc.
Final Sign Offs: Remind about 1MC and next week’s guest’s name and business


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