What is get out of the building?
Get Out Of The Building is a customer development process or business model testing. The term ‘get out of the building’ was invented by the famous entrepreneur Steve Blank. The phrase is aimed at startups directing their energy towards customer research.
According to Blank, many startups focus their energy on design and sales, which is wrong. Instead, these startups should focus on what the customers want.
Businesses are quick to launch products into markets they know little about. Blank’s advice to startups is to get out of the proverbial building and interact with the customers to understand their needs.
‘Get out of the building’ can be literal or metaphorical. When you understand what issues the customers need to solve in their lives, you can now design the product to meet these needs. The products will be meaningful and cost-effective, thus creating more profits for the business.
So, what does customer research entail?
Getting out of the building does not mean walking out aimlessly and starting a chat with any potential customer out there. You should have a plan to enable you to have objective interactions with potential customers.
1. What Questions Do You Intend to Ask?
What information are you trying to gather out there? The assumptions you have made about the market will help you formulate the appropriate questions.
Also, try to gather information other than by asking questions. For instance, find a way to let the potential customers volunteer information. It is one of the best ways of understanding their needs.
1. Who are you going to talk to?
Who are the right people to give you the answers you need? Are people you intend to talk to representing the consumers of your products?
1. The Interview Stage
Now that you have formulated the questions and identified the target audience. How will you gather the information? Is it one-on-one interviews through landing pages, focus groups, or through surveys and questionnaires? Have an effective method of recording the collected data.
1. Share Prototypes
If you have a prototype of your product, share it with the interviews and record their reviews. You will get more objective feedback if you use an actual product.
1. Focus on Listening
Remember, at this stage, you are not selling anything. You are simply trying to understand the customers’ needs to create your product around that feedback.
Avoid asking the interviewees leading questions; let them give you honest opinions. The feedback you get may not be what you wanted to hear, but it is for the good of your business.
1. Wrap Up Your Customer Research
Before you make a final report of your research, seek clarifications from the interviewees. Then use the information you have collected to build a product that solves the needs of the consumers.
‘Get out of the building’ is a practically effective way of customer research. When you take time to listen to the demands and concerns of the customers, you will build a product that is welcome in the market.