Dear Brit: "How Do I Know if I Have Product-Market Fit with My New Business?" This conundrum is a fundamental challenge all entrepreneurs have to tackle.
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Brit Morin was 25 when she left Google to start Brit + Co, a lifestyle and education company aimed at helping women cultivate creative confidence. Now — 10 years, $50 million in funding and 1.2 billion pageviews later — Morin's passion is empowering more women to take the entrepreneurial leap. She's a managing partner at VC fund Offline Ventures, host of iHeartRadio podcast Teach Me Something New, creator of Selfmade, a 10-week start-your-own-business course for women founders, and most recently — Entrepreneur advice columnist. Find her here answering the most personal and pressing questions of women entrepreneurs.
Have a question for Brit? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could answer it in an upcoming column!
I'm an early stage founder. How do I know if I have product-market fit with my new business?
This is such a good question and a fundamental challenge all entrepreneurs have to tackle, especially those who are raising venture capital.
As you're developing your next big thing, there are a few key indicators that you've achieved product-market fit:
There is consistent growth in your user base or customer base and revenue each month.
Your product is being used in a way that you never anticipated.
Your customers are evangelizing your product to their friends and colleagues.
You are able to scale your business rapidly without compromising quality or customer satisfaction levels.
You have a high retention rate, and people who use your product continue to use it and don't churn.
You have a large number of inbound leads, and people are reaching out to you wanting to buy your product, rather than you having to go out and find them.
Your business is profitable or on a path to profitability.
If you're seeing most (or all) of these indicators, congrats! You likely have product-market fit. Keep in mind, though, that this is an ongoing journey, and you might not hit all these benchmarks right away. But if you're seeing consistent growth and engagement with your product, that's a good sign that you're on the right track.
If you're not sure if you've hit product-market fit, keep iterating and testing until you find a formula that works. And when in doubt, ask your customers! In Selfmade, my accelerator program for female founders, we zero in on this concept through an intensive on user research.
As you go through this process yourself, remember to trust both your gut AND that data. When you achieve product-market fit, things won't necessarily get easy, but it is so refreshing. I've gone through this process several times myself, with Brit + Co, Selfmade and BFF, and as I'm evaluating the viability of businesses I invest in at Offline Ventures. At the end of the day, it's all about creating something users want and need. As you pursue the perfect intersection, keep me posted on your adventures in finding the ideal fit for you and your biz at @brit!