Building A Business Online Or Off-Line Will Not Happen Unless…
You must have several things in order to build a business. Three of these things are: a product or service, a place to sell & buying customers. Read the roles of each.
Your Product Or Service
This should be obvious to everyone but the product or service that you are offering must solve a problem for people that are willing to spend their hard-earned money for your solution.
If there aren’t enough people looking for the solution to the problem or problems that your product or service solves, you will have a tough time building a successful business.
Your solution needs to be placed in front of the people that need it at the time when they are most ready to take action.
Example: Someone might know that they need to lose weight but they won’t buy your ideal weight loss solution if they aren’t ready to take action on a problem that they know that they have i.e. being overweight.
A Place To Sell
There are many places that you can sell your product or service both online and off-line. Some of these places are:
- e-commerce stores like Amazon or eBay
- your own company website
- your own physical storefront
- trade shows, home shows, etc.
- and more.
The important thing to remember about where you sell is that location matters.
People usually have specific paths that they travel when going to and from work or to do errands and they will rarely go out of their way to buy a product or service.
A lot of people that I know will look for an alternative before they go out of their way to buy a solution to almost any problem that they have and I’m sure many of your customers feel the same way.
As I mentioned earlier, your potential customer base has to be large enough to support you and your competitors.
You have to know what problems they are wanting to solve, you have to know the demographics of the age group that has those problems and you need to know where these people congregate online or off-line so that you can put your marketing message in front of them.
If you don’t have all of that intelligence, it will be very difficult and expensive to find your ideal customer so you can sell them your solution.
One business owner that I know sells a product that is probably the best on the market for solving the problem that his potential customers have but he has three major stumbling blocks which are:
- His potential customer base is limited to a few million people within the United States.
- His product only sells for $15.
- His primary competitor has massive amounts of money to spend promoting their product even though it is inferior to his.
This business owner has dreams of this product making him thousands of dollars per month by setting up a series of dealers throughout the United States so that he does not have to sell and ship individual product purchases.
Unfortunately, this business owner is so busy running other businesses that he owns that he isn’t taking the time that’s needed to develop the relationships that could lead to a growing dealer network.
Since his profitable businesses have more of his attention, he has resorted to trying to take shortcuts by marketing online using methods that are not appropriate because he listens to sales people that are telling him they have the perfect solution when they don’t know his business, his potential customer base or where his potential customers hang out online, if they are online at all.
Because he is not technically savvy and he has listened to too many people with bad advice, he has wasted almost a year and several thousand dollars trying marketing methods that yielded very little, if any, sales.
The business owner is a good business owner and salesman but for some reason he has refused to create a business plan and a marketing plan for this particular business.
A second business owner I know is also working without a business plan and he has similar but different problems which are:
- He knows just enough about marketing online to have convinced himself that he’s an expert on the subject.
- He has hired consultants to be on his team to perform some of the tasks that he has been forced to admit that he doesn’t know as well as he thought he did. Unfortunately, he micro manages the consultants to the point the majority of them are ready to walk away from him.
- He has convinced himself that he has no competition because the service he offers is different from all of his competitors. (His service is superior to the majority of his competitors but it isn’t far enough removed from them for people to be able to distinguish the difference other than by the price.)
- He is trying to grow his business too fast without making sure that there is a large enough customer base in each area to support his high-end offering.
- He thinks PPC is the best and only way to market his service.
- He wasted so much money as a DIYer then by hiring substandard marketers before he got a quality team in place that he is now marketing from a point of desperation.
Because he is desperate, he is changing the fundamental values of his business to try and generate dollars and this is after he spent more than a year claiming that these low-end offerings were useless in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, I don’t see this business surviving another six months because the business owner is marketing without a business plan, without a marketing plan and he’s marketing from desperation.
You can have the perfect problem solver for people but if you don’t have a business plan, a marketing plan and the right people to help you reach your ideal customer base you will fail to reach your destination.
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