Entrepreneurism is all about personal risk.

Well, of course it is.  So, let’s dig a bit deeper. Sometimes, you can reduce your personal risk by taking in other people’s money in various ways, perhaps starting with a consulting contract with a customer, purchasing a going business where profit or loss is known, or spinning off an existing revenue-generating portion of an existing business.

But the risks don’t stop there

Even using one of the strategies just mentioned, the risks of having enough cash to fund daily operations or growth can be daunting.  The same is true about marketing. If you don’t directly engage the potential customer at the right time, place and mood, you are at a disadvantage from the start.  There are too many competitors for a customer’s time and money to make an error in your approach and offer.

Here’s the ultimate thing about entrepreneurism

If you don’t choose to enter the fight, it is impossible to win it.   And entering the fight without the proper resources usually assures defeat.  Resources such as money, experience, statistics about your target, experienced marketing and sales talent, and especially a compelling need and attractive product are all important to the ultimate success of an enterprise.

So, ask yourself:  Are you ready to enter the fight?  Do you have the resources necessary to at least give you a chance to win?  If not, what do you need to do so, and how can you get those resources?

Then there is the risk of underestimating time and money

[Email readers, continue here…]  I am often surprised at the inexperienced executive’s estimates of time to breakeven for a product or a company, about the time and cost to market, about the expense in overhead needed to stay in the game.   Most of all, I am surprised at that typical person’s inexperience in the marketing arena and understanding of the importance of marketing to the success of the product.

Research the market before allocating resources

You may have all the other ingredients. But without an excellent marketing plan and a way to execute upon that plan, the best product and the most cash reserves won’t bring in the customers.  Since great marketing means addressing the wants and needs of the customer, about distancing the product from any competitor, about getting the message out to the most people possible, you’ve got to commit resources and energy to the fight in order to have a chance to win it.

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3 Responses to Entrepreneurism is all about personal risk.

  1. Robbie Walsh says:

    Loved this post about entrepreneurism! Thanks for sharing!

  2. William Hill says:

    Perfect! In a few paragraphs you have summarized the basic elements that begin the journey to a successful start-up.

  3. Michael O'Daniel says:

    Marketing is one of the most critical ingredients for success, but marketing and PR alone will not guarantee the success of a great new product or service.

    It is important to have all your customer-facing departments — CSRs, sales, sales support, finance, legal, implementation (sometimes referred to as sales engineering), training, tech support, anyone in product development that might have occasion to speak with a customer — on board and aligned with the company’s brand, messaging, and values. This is how you create a true market-driven company.

    The most overlooked aspect of marketing is FULFILLMENT. The customer has signaled a demand for your product or service; now, will you deliver what the customer is expecting to receive, and will you make the customer experience in dealing with your company as seamless and user-friendly as possible?

    It’s a common mistake to overlook the importance of the departments listed two paragraphs above in maximizing the customer experience. But you need to have business processes in place before you roll out the product. Making up this stuff as you go along, or having any of these departments functioning at cross purposes, can quickly damage both the relationship with the customer and your company’s reputation. I’ve seen it happen too often.

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