Sometimes when I am searching for a subject for the latest blog I realise that one doesn’t need to get too deep and meaningful. Indeed, often it is good to be reminded of the simple basics that make a business work.
Recently I attended a conference that included a large number of start-ups pitching for investment. As I sat through what seemed like a marathon it seemed to me that the desire to create and expand had led many of them to forget basic principles.
I categorised the businesses into two sections. There were those that had identified a problem and had sought to find a solution, and there were those that had found a solution and were desperately trying to find a problem for it. So basic lesson one is to always start with the problem and then seek to solve it.
The second thing that struck me was the inability to define a focussed market. All too often we heard how products were for millions or billions or the whole world. With numbers like that it is impossible to have focussed marketing campaigns and to deliver a consistent message to all of them. So basic lesson two is to define your market tightly so as to create focus for your product or service.
A common fault appeared to be a lack of real research into need and hence one felt that they were hoping rather than predicting what customer response would be. Basic lesson number three is to ensure you research your market thoroughly.
When it came to competition, then too much effort was concentrated on the opposition’s weaknesses. Whilst the weaknesses give you a potential opportunity, you should remember that competitors do not sell on their weaknesses and they are actually out there already making money. So basic lesson four is to recognise your competitors’ strengths and work out how to combat them.
There were other basics that shouted to me over the three days, but attention to these alone would improve their prospects significantly. your post here.