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Before you launch your startup you’ll need to master who the users and the customers of your product. Think smart and follow these hints to find and reach the people you’ll be aiming your product at.

1. Differentiate your customers from your users

Take Uber, for example. Uber ‘users’ are everyday people who use taxis to get them from A to B. Uber relieves their ‘pain’ but these users don’t actually pay for the service. Uber ‘customers’ (the people who do pay) are the taxi drivers. Consider who will be paying you and who will be using your product and carry out research for both groups as you develop your idea.

2. Focus initially on a manageable market

Just because the nature of software development opens up global market possibilities, doesn’t mean you should go after them straight away. Scope them out by all means, and plan to address them sustainably over time. By launching initially in a niche or local market you reduce getting overly distracted and diluting your initial efforts.

3. Consider a blend of direct and indirect routes to market.

Channel partners can be a valuable source of revenue, though you will need to give up margin to them. Look for partners where your product complements their business so that they will view your product as an opportunity to increase their own customer revenues and loyalty. Ensure that any resale arrangements are covered by legal contracts to protect your commercial and intellectual property rights.

4. Analyse your customer-user dynamic

Work out the dynamics that exist between customers and users so that you don’t end up wasting time in your approach convincing the wrong person that your product is valuable. Who influences whom? Who has the budget to spend? How much control does the user whose pain you are curing have over whether your software development product gets bought or not?