When we started TakeLessons, the first thing we had to do was understand if our product resonated with users. There were a lot of different strategies and partnerships that lead to our ultimate success, but first and foremost is ensuring your product meets a need in the marketplace.
Focus on customer satisfaction. In the early days, you treat each customer with a white-glove approach. Speak to them. Help them. Learn from them. What did they like? What didn't they like? What could you do better?
Then, take their feedback and iterate your business/product around it.
Once you've made some changes, go back to those customers and ask how you did. Get their feedback. Then repeat the process, but include new users, with fresh perspectives.
What this does is two things. First, it gives you direction on how to build a better product. Second, and maybe more importantly, it shows your customers that you are there for them, and willing to put in effort to do things for them. These customers will turn in to advocates of your business, spreading the word about it, (ie increasing sales), and help to increase your customer lifetime value as they keep using it.
Keep doing this, and over time, you'll have a great business, with customer-focused products.
Happy to discuss more in depth.