The two make or break activities in every business is innovation and marketing.
Pretty much everything else you do in your business is a commodity, which can (and often should) be outsourced or delegated.
Your time as a business owner is extremely scarce and valuable. As such you should be laser focused on the two highest value tasks in your business – innovation and marketing.
Firstly a word about innovation – by innovation, I don’t mean re-inventing the wheel or coming up with something completely new.
In fact, I seldom recommend that, as it is expensive, risky and time-consuming.
I would much rather take something existing, which I know works, and simply replicate it with predictable results.
Innovation simply means having some unique advantage which differentiates you in the market. Something to present you as different so that you are not competing solely on price.
This could include how it is presented, packaged, financed, positioned, delivered or even what sort of guarantee or bonus comes with the product or service.
Secondly marketing. No matter how good or how different your product is, it will make no difference if your marketing stinks or is non-existent.
History is littered with examples of technically superior products that failed to gain acceptance in the market – primarily due to poor marketing. Some examples include Betamax, The Newton and LaserDisc to name just a few.
Good, even great, products are simply not enough. Marketing must be your other major activity for business success. In fact, it should be what you, as a business owner, spend most of your time on.
I often speak to business owners who are in need of help with their marketing. Often they will start by telling me how good their product or service is – the amazing features and benefits they offer.
I often respond with this question: “When does a prospect find out that you have a great product or service?”. After umming and erring for a while the penny finally drops and the reluctant answer comes out, “when they buy it”.
So here’s the point. No matter how good your product or service is – no one will ever know unless they actually buy it. You need to get people to buy from you so that they can experience how good your product or service actually is.
So while a great product is vital for keeping your customer. You need to be an excellent marketer to actually get the customer in the first place.
If you are not yet an excellent marketer, I would urge you to develop this vital business skill.