Woman stretching while waking up in bed.
Proper aims to help their customers get the best night of sleep with supplements, sleep coaching and digital tools. — Getty Images/andresr

Entrepreneur Nancy Ramamurthi believes the secret to business success boils down to one thing: knowing your customers.

“Work really hard to understand your customers deeply and solve a problem for them really, really well,” she said.

It was easy for Ramamurthi to follow this advice herself: Her personal struggles with sleep problems inspired her to launch Proper, a sleep wellness company that offers holistic, individualized approaches to help customers get better sleep.

Before she started her company, Ramamurthi was dismayed at the lack of a modern, scientifically supported, healthy solution for better sleep. She curated an expert team of sleep coaches and an advisory council to develop natural, evidence-backed supplements. By combining these supplements with one-on-one support for behavioral changes, Proper caters to each customer’s personal struggles and needs regarding lack of sleep.

The seven sleep supplements Proper has created contain specific ingredients that have been backed by 7,011 clinical studies — and the results speak for themselves, according to Ramamurthi.

“A friend of mine, [who] I introduced to Proper, was skeptical but supportive as a friend and tried our supplements and coaching,” she said. “Insomnia ran in her family, and she was very much interested in a healthier, more natural and comprehensive approach to sleep health. To her delight, the solution worked and she thanked me in a quick text, joking that she might live a little longer.”

Proper has now provided sleep solutions to 1.5 million customers across all 50 states, and that number is only growing.

[Read more: Gaining Customer Traction: 5 Steps to Customer Growth]

Work really hard to understand your customers deeply and solve a problem for them really, really well.

Nancy Ramamurthi, founder, Proper

Thinking outside the box to find the right path

Ramamurthi launched Proper a few months into the pandemic. She was excited to come into the market at a time when her company could provide more help to people in need of healthier, better sleep.

With all of the added stress and anxiety people have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people have been having sleep issues, commonly called “Coronasomnia” or “COVID-somnia,” said Ramamurthi. In this context, Proper and its mission of healthier, better sleep have never been more relevant.

Based on her own journey to success, Ramamurthi advised business owners to think outside the box, even if doing so is challenging.

“We’ve taken the harder road,” said Ramamurthi, who decided early on to take Proper down a different path than her competitors by offering more than just supplements. “But we believe it’s ultimately best for the consumer, and [we] will be guided by that North Star.”

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