Archive for October, 2006
I love my gadgets, maybe even a little too much. My wife hasn’t said anything yet, but every time I get a new one she rolls her eyes at me. She is right; they usually have absolutely no real use
This one is different. The new Bluetooth watch by Ericsson and Fossil is exactly what I have always needed (or is it wanted?).
The feature I love is that the watch displays caller id and the first line of an email/txt msg. There have been so many times when I am in a meeting and someone calls me or sends me an email. There is no way to discreetly check if the message is an emergency, a really important call, or just a wrong number. This watch makes it so easy to discreetly screen calls and messages, that I can already envision it changing my business life.
Though we all know the truth: I really just want it so I can change songs on my MP3 player…
I was on a conference call last night with a couple of friends who are trying to start a new business. Their idea is fantastic and if they execute well they will have an incredible product that many, many people will want. I was very enthusiastic and I really thought they would have a good chance to pull it off, until I asked them about their distribution plan.
Nothing! They told me about getting referrals and doing a bit of PPC. They said advertising and telemarketing…They really had not thought hard about how to get their product out into the marketplace.
For some reason, most first time entrepreneurs figure that the hardest part about selling is having a good product. It is exactly the opposite, a good sale strategy and a good distribution platform can sell just about anything. Think about it, who is more likely to sell; a great salesman peddling an inferior product or an adequate salesman selling a fantastic product? History is full of examples of bad products that prevailed because they were sold well.
When I started Emerging Demographics I approached the situation the same way, I focused most of my energies on developing the product. I had some ideas about how to distribute and sell, but I spent a lot less time thinking about that then I did making sure that our product was truly “special.” Boy did I learn my lesson. When we launched, we generated a lot less traction than I anticipated, and even though our customers were really happy, we just didn’t have enough of them. I spent the next three months devising and putting in place a strong distribution and sales strategy and it seems to be paying off.
From now on, anytime someone talks to me about a business idea, my first question will be how they plan on selling their product and if they don’t have a good answer – ill tell them about my experience with a great product and a bad marketing strategy.