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Another Startup Myth - "If I Build It, They Will Come!"

Small-business-blog-if-i-build-it-they-will-comeI have seen countless examples, especially in the technology space, where the entrepreneur is so passionate in his/her belief in the business concept that they expend all available resources to continue to optimize the product/service that underpins the business concept. They operate under the mistaken notion that the product/service is so good that it will be intuitively obvious for potential customers to gravitate to it and buy. And unlike the movie, "Field of Dreams," just because you build it, they not only won't come...they won't even know you exist!

This brings us to today's Entrepreneur's Yoda words of wisdom - "Good marketing beats good technology every single time!" In essence, spend as much time (and resources), or more, creating and executing your marketing plans as you do creating and executing your product development plans. To further emphasize this point, is a corollary, formed by one of my most respected business partners - "Nobody ever bought a product or service that they didn't know about!" The meaning here is clear. Getting your product or service ready for market is but one part of the battle. The critical elements for success are what you do to make potential customers aware of your product and then what you do to turn them into actual, cash-paying customers. With both time and cash resources typically in short supply for a small business, it's better to develop a basic product and maximize your marketing and sales efforts than to develop the ultimate product with no resources left to market it.

If most of the skills your small business possesses are product development as opposed to sales and marketing, rather than hire someone, find a partner (a non-competitor), who operates in your target market to help you roll out your product. Whether that be a larger company with already existent sales channels or a smaller company who operates with an complementary product or some combination. (More on strategic partnerships in a future posting.) Getting awareness for your product and being able to create interest in it once you do may actually be more important than the product itself.

The Entrepreneur's Yoda knows these things. He's been there. May success be with you!


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