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With Limited Resources, Would You Invest in Technology or Marketing?

Small-business-blog-technology-marketing-choicesIf you had already rolled out your product and were faced with making a decision between investing your limited resources in technology to make your product better, or marketing to give your product more visibility, which would you choose?

Always a tough choice. But, the major objective for entrepreneurs, especially in the early going, should be "top line focus" - getting new customers and driving revenue. This revenue should, in turn, drive bottom line, which should then provide the necessary resources to further improve the product.

However, as important, is getting customer feedback on the first iteration of a product to enable ensuing iterations and releases to be as market-driven as possible and limited development resources well-deployed. Too many young companies, especially those that are technology-based, feel the need to constantly improve their product. They use their limited resources to tweak and add features before they've built much of a customer base. Instead, they should be looking to get a base product out there, create and build a solid foundation of customers from whom they can get feedback as to what needs to be changed or be added to the current product to give it broader and deeper appeal.

And the key to creating and building that solid customer foundation and driving revenue is the visibility of the product in the company's target market. In a previous blog post, I noted that "nobody ever bought anything they didn't know about." A young company has to totally focus on creating as much awareness for its product or service to get prospective customers interested in buying it. This is, obviously, marketing. And, with the use of the internet and social media, the resources required to do this are significantly less than they used to be. But it needs to be done, and on a continuous basis, starting with a marketing-driven website as the focal point for any marketing strategy.

Once the company is successfully driving revenue and is getting feedback on its initial product, it could then use both the cash generated and the knowledge gained from its initial customers to develop further enhancements that it can sell back into its existing customer base and to new customers. And the process continues.

Given the choice of deployment of limited resources, always pick revenue and customers before product enhancement. Once you have the former, the latter becomes way easier to achieve.

Master Yoda knows these things. His job it is. May success be with you!

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