Every business is really two businesses. The first one has to do with the product you make or service you provide. Maybe you restore antique furniture. Maybe you offer organic cosmetics. Or maybe you design websites.
But the second business is the real business every owner is in – and that has to do with the business of selling. To be an effective entrepreneur, this is the area in which most of your time should be spent.
Yet in starting a new business, most people focus on the opposite. They spend most of their time and money on secondary matters. These include such things as
- creating a logo
- printing business cards
- finding office space
- setting up the right legal structure
- buying business insurance
- gathering tax forms
- hiring employees
- perfecting the product
These actions may make your business look and feel like the real deal. But for most start-ups, they should be set aside until an effective sales system has been created.
Why You Should Focus on Sales
There’s a direct relationship between the success of a business and the resources devoted to selling – especially in the beginning stages of your company.
Business is about adding value to the customer, and the customer is the only person who determines whether you’ve added value. There’s no other way.
If customers think your product is good, they’ll buy it, recommend it to their friends, and buy again. But if it’s bad, they’ll do the exact opposite.
Another reason to focus on selling is because you need the cash flow to keep your new business alive.
Making your product better is important, but should be done later. Besides, you won’t know what “better” really is until you get feedback from customers. And to get feedback, you must sell.
Focus on sales, and when customers want you to improve the product, you’ll actually have the money to make the improvements they want.
The Better Way to Begin in Business
So here’s how you should prioritize your activities when first starting a business:
- Make your product good enough to sell it, but don’t worry about perfecting it.
- Sell it.
- If it sells, then go ahead and improve it.
Test your basic selling idea. Is there an active market for what you want to sell at the price you want to put on it?
Sell your product in different venues, including local flea markets, the internet, and wholesaling to retail shops.
Doing this, you’ll know which products sell well, the environment they sell in, and the price they sell for.
At this point, you can go ahead and make adjustments to your product selection and pricing.
So although there are many things you can do to help your business succeed, none will make as big of a difference as generating sales.
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