If you’re like me, you’re working for a company for some time now. You could also be thinking about being your own boss someday. You might want to start your own business but don't know where to begin. When you speak with your co-workers about business, there are a few things that most of you and your colleagues agree on.
Most of you believe rightly or wrongly that:
- You can achieve financial independence by getting into business instead of remaining an employee.
- Success in business is difficult. Failure rate is pretty high.
- Sales is the lifeblood of a business. If you cannot sell, you will die.
Why Businesses FailOne of the main reasons why employee-turned-entrepreneurs fail is because they needed to successfully execute multiple changes at once.
- They need to know how to run the business operations.
- They need to learn how to hire good people.
- They need to learn how to market their products.
- They need to know how to ensure the quality of their products.
- They need to learn how to solve problems as they arise.
With all the things an entrepreneur needs to learn, the skill to sell effectively is the most critical and should be prioritized. Why? Because if you can't sell your product, nothing you do will matter at all. Your business will still fail.
Why the Need to SellBut won't a truly great product just sell itself? Not really. In reality, effective marketing pushes great products to stardom.
Take the iPhone for example. Apple arguably makes some of the best products in consumer electronics but it does not sit idly by waiting for people to buy them. Apple is known for creating hype and anticipation with its product launches. They're marketing strategies are second to none.
Sure it takes a high quality product to produce good sales. That's a given. No one should be going into business expecting success with mediocre products or services. But making your product great should be matched with a great selling strategy.
Develop Your Selling Skill FirstIf you're starting out in business, I believe you ought to experience selling successfully first before going further. Once you know what it takes to sell effectively, you'll have time learning other skills as your business lives on. Otherwise, your venture will die so suddenly that all the things you've done will be for nothing.
Setting up a distribution business is one good learning experience. This way you don't have to worry about how to make the products you'll sell. All you need to focus on is selling. Determining your target market. How you may reach them. How you can convince them to buy. All of these will give you enough problems to worry about and experiences to learn from.
Going to First BaseOnce you've developed your capability and confidence to sell effectively, you can try developing your own products or services. It won't necessarily go smoothly but the insights you've developed selling a known good product should be of help to you as you go along.
This path might be too conservative for some enterprising Pinoys. But if you want to mitigate the risk of going into business for the very first time, taking one small step at a time may just work!
Photo Credit: spencer341b (Creative Commons)