It’s often difficult for entrepreneurs to succeed without understanding customers expectations. Changes in customers’ expectations have made many entrepreneurs feel as if they are ill-prepared. My experience as an entrepreneur who has interacted with many entrepreneurs for over seven (7) years clearly shows they all do what is within their means. 

However, a customer expectation is not a closed book. I mean an entrepreneur can be guided into meeting customers expectations. Yes, the guide is always seeking better processes for the production of products/services, delivering value, and capturing value ––– the business process re-engineering.

In order to possess a better understanding of your customer as an entrepreneur, these are some of the actions to take:

1)  Beyond Product/Service: In addition to having excellent products or services is making sure that your system of delivery is cost-effective and the means of capturing value (receiving payments) has many easy to use options like Point of Sale machine(s), and corporate account(s) for confirming payments. For example, the challenges with the¹ circulation of redesigned naira notes shows that a lot of entrepreneurs have limited options in capturing value.

2)    Do Not Make Your Business Run Before They Can Fly: One rule of thumb is never to put your two feet in unknown waters. Your desire to grow as an entrepreneur should not be in isolation from the requisite knowledge of the business process. You acquire knowledge as you practice what you know and continue to learn better business ways.

3)  Identify challenges Location-by-Location: Every location has its own challenges whether it is a village or city. As an entrepreneur carrying out a research, never assume the challenge is the same across locations. It is the knowledge borne out of the research conducted that will make you outstanding in your business management. This research could be simply an assessment of the practicality of a proposed business plan or method ––– A feasibility study.

4) Make Customer Education A Priority: Change is the only permanent thing in this world, yet greatly feared. One of the fears of some of the customers who refused to make payments digitally in the face cash scarcity in Nigeria was the issue of fake alerts.

5) If You Cannot Innovate, Copy: Business models are not patentable, and copying them is not a crime. You need to think about whether you need to innovate when there are business models that can be copied lawfully. For example, Facebook’s parent (Meta) unveiled its Meta Verified where you pay a fee to get the blue badge which it copied from Twitter’s playbook. Meta did not just copy the business model, it went also for the absolute pricing mechanism, across digital domains of iOS and Google Play Store.

Finally, have this mindset that there is more to your business than you know. There is always room for improvement in every business. Start seeking ways to make the lives of customers at ease during buying processes, deliveries and payments.