No sales. No business. No matter how great everything else is. I have seen great and tremendously talented people dream big, fly high and get their enthusiasm levels at the highest possible peaks they are capable of. That is fantastic and I love seeing people do that. That’s the single most important initial step needed in order any consecutive action to be driven forward. BUT. In business we need to know that this initial step is an extremely small piece of the puzzle we need to assemble in order to stay afloat and break even.
If you need more than 10 words to explain your business you need a serious general fix.
So the huge puzzle we all need to have assembled in our businesses, which is composed of pieces like: sales, marketing, admin, management, finance, HR, communication, etc is the labeled engine we need to turn into a perpetuum mobile. And it all starts with the first sale. I have always admired business models that are designed in such a way that you can get the idea of how investing $1 will get you $2 (and it actually does) on day one of the business operations, by reading a single A4 page resume. I have also seen quite a lot of other ideas that appear beautiful at first sight (and they actually are) like mobile apps, marketplaces, products, etc. which are most commonly created out of emotional drive, but missing essential business fundamentals.
If you need to pitch your idea instead of having a waiting list of investors then get back to your homework.
Now, it is extremely important to be emotionally attached, motivated and mentally dedicated to your business. But, again it is bloody damaging to be looped in those feelings while the product or service you are passionate about has “0” business potential and market logic. One very prominent example of that is a case study with I will dedicate more time discussing in details, later on during the year: CONCORDE PLANES and the SSP civil aviation paradox.
R E A L | C A S E | S T U D Y
Here is a product which was created by a couple that claimed to have problems probably many couples “have” – that one may accidentally “enter” the bedside of the other while sleeping at night and by doing so to affect the quality of the sleep of the other. Well, as many would think that this is actually a good thing many couples would find a way to entertain with, the product named Layline Bed Sheet, as of today did not turn out to be a profits machine and steadily growing business opportunity. And there is a reason for that. As we can see from the language used in the landing page, which is supposed to be the web site of the product, we can hear the desperate sound of begging and convincing the customer to buy. This has proved to be not so wise in Sales. People love to buy not to be sold. On the other hand, the fact that the product appeared at the famous BBC TV Show, Dragon’s Den, actually generated a cost-free Marketing momentum for a while, which was widely used by the founders to trigger interest in the product. But still no matter how strongly they believe their product is needed by the consumer out there, how great and unique it is, they never developed it properly as to create the business potential this creative and interesting solution may have. Sales never skyrocketed. So far. However we owe them a huge round of applause! They did better then yesterday and learned a lot.
The fact that you love your product does not mean, by definition, that 1000 people per day will do so.
On the other hand we are also witnesses of a significant amount of new born companies offering products or services that are actually performing quite well. They have not only found the right way to generate sales (the fuel your business engine needs so you can drive along the way) but also have endorsed the principles that allow them to precisely synchronize the other mechanisms needed that allow the smooth, risk-low and bug-free “ride” on the “business highway”.