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Many small business owners confuse creating a product with building a business – and many fail because they don’t understand this difference.
These two things may sound like the same thing, but they are very different. Successful business owners understand the difference between the two, so I want to share how they compare to one another.
Many businesses start with a great idea. Maybe it’s an idea for a new product, a different way of delivering a service, or taking an existing idea and applying it to a new type of customer. Some ideas for products are services are brand new, such as a new invention or completely new service. For example, the iPhone was a new cell phone and music player created by Apple, which was a product that hadn’t been successfully created in the past.
Other ideas are not new, but still fill an unmet need in the market. For example, the Samsung Galaxy was not a new invention since it came after the Apple iPhone, but it still filled an unmet need in the market. Samsung attempted to create a product that was better and cheaper than Apple’s iPhone. Both the iPhone and Galaxy are successful products made by successful companies, but the originations of those two products are very different.
The key point here is that no matter whether your product or service is a brand new one or an extension of an existing idea, a business idea won’t succeed unless you build a “real” company to develop, market, and sell it to a mass audience. It doesn’t mean that your product or service has to be as popular as the iPhone to be successful – although I’m sure most of you wouldn’t complain if it were – but it means that you have to do more than just create a good product to make your business thrive.
There are a number of reasons why this is true. First of all, one product or service typically isn’t enough to make a successful business. It typically takes a number of complementary products and services to fulfill customer needs. For example, even the iPhone isn’t effective as a standalone product. It succeeds not only because it is a great product, but also because customers can also download music, subscribe to photo sharing services, and buy additional storage space from Apple. The combination of these products is what makes Apple and the iPhone successful. And the iPhone is just one of many products and services that Apple provides to its customers.
Secondly, the economy and customer tastes change very quickly, which means that no one single product or service is likely to stay popular for long. This means that if you want your small business to succeed in the long-term, you need to constantly update your products and services to constantly meet the needs of your customers. If you rely too much on one product, it won’t be long before it becomes obsolete and you find your business in trouble.
A good example of this is the company GoPro, which makes wearable recording devices for athletes and other active individuals. The product was initially very successful and enabled the company to grow to nearly $1 billion in revenue. However, it relied too much on this one product and has since struggled to maintain its growth in the face of competition from smart phones and other cheaper recording devices. As a result, the company is now facing a decrease in market share and revenue. At the time of this recording, the company was actively trying to expand its product offerings to diversify and meet the changing customer tastes, but it is to be seen whether this strategy will work.
The third main reason why building a company is so much more important than creating a product is because it is difficult to get each customer. For every dollar and minute of time you spend acquiring a new customer, you want to maximize the revenue you realize from that customer. Having only one product limits your ability to sell more to your existing customers that you worked so hard to get.
Finally, building a company enables you to have a sort of well-oiled machine that continuously creates more demand for your products or services, allows the business to create enough product to meet demand, and grow in the long-term. A product by itself won’t last for long if you can’t build a company that constantly creates more and more demand for it and finds ways to deliver those products or services profitably.
So, the summary is that building a company is more sustainable for long-term growth. It allows you to be more nimble and more quickly adapt to changing customer needs. It also allows you to build a business that can last beyond the original owner, in the case that you may want to sell the company or pass it on to your children. A company that provides a single product or service can’t provide this level of growth potential and sustainability.
This is one of many things you can learn from a free trial of our small business training courses. Click here to register for a free trial to learn how a proven small business program can help you start and grow a successful business.
Many entrepreneurs struggle with how to start a small business. However, growing a small business is even harder than the actual startup phase.
Often times, small business owners don’t know where to begin in growing their product or service offering, expanding their customer base, and reaching new markets. This can be overwhelming without the right framework.
Here are five things you can do to ensure your business scales quickly from initial startup to a sustainable business with long-term potential: (more…)
Hаving good search еnginе optimization iѕ a grеаt wау tо аttrасt people tо уоur business, goods, аnd ѕеrviсеѕ, and this should be a key component of your small business marketing strategy. If уоu wаnt реорlе tо learn аbоut уоur buѕinеѕѕ аnd idеаѕ, thеn having a gооd wеbѕitе iѕ an аbѕоlutе muѕt. With these tiрѕ you can hаvе рrimе ѕеаrсh еnginе орtimizаtiоn thаt will help your website gеt nоtiсеd.
Thе firѕt thing уоu need tо knоw is the imроrtаnсе оf your kеуwоrd. Kеуwоrdѕ аrе kеу. Onсе уоu сhооѕе a word thаt уоu аrе sure will gеnеrаtе a lоt оf hits, then уоu need tо place it ѕkillfullу thrоughоut уоur wеbѕitе in a way that will bе ѕurе tо аttrасt attention.
Thеrе аrе a variety оf things you can dо, tо inсrеаѕе уоur trаffiс flоw tо уоur wеbѕitе. Here аrе fivе tесhniԛuеѕ уоu саn uѕе: (more…)
Some of our recent blogs have addressed common challenges that entrepreneurs often face. Another common problem that we haven’t discussed yet is the fact that many small business owners confuse creating a product with building a business – and many fail because they don’t understand this difference. This is an important small business idea worth noting.
These two things may sound like the same thing, but they are very different. Successful business owners understand the difference between the two, so we want to share how they compare to one another. (more…)
One of the most common questions we receive from members and students of our small business training and mentoring programs is: how do I grow my small business outside my home country?
This is a good question and an important one of the best small business ideas, as there is a massive amount of opportunity for most products and services throughout the world. So, why limit your success and profits to inside your country?
Thе bаѕiс fundаmеntаlѕ involved in the еѕtаbliѕhmеnt аnd growing оf new businesses, аrе bаѕiсаllу thе ѕаmе intеrnаtiоnаllу with minоr рrосеdurаl diffеrеnсеѕ and cost rеԛuirеmеntѕ.
Here are five basic steps to establishing an international company: (more…)
If you fоllоw thе business news оr rеаd аrtiсlеѕ уоu would knоw that Aѕiа аnd especially Chinа iѕ еxресtеd tо bесоmе world’s lаrgеѕt есоnоmу bу 2020. India is following ѕuit and is еxресtеd to rank fоurth оn thе glоbаl economic scale by 2025. These can be attractive markets for your small business growth.
Aѕiа through its vast орроrtunitiеѕ and mаjоr wоrld population iѕ соnѕidеrеd tо bе thе key ѕtrаtеgiс growth market in vаriоuѕ fiеldѕ. It аlѕо hаѕ tо do mоrе tо thе flexibility оf the rеgiоn tоwаrdѕ growth аѕ thеу continuously move forward tоwаrdѕ dеvеlорmеnt аnd gаining influеnсе оvеr glоbаl markets. (more…)
Your small business growth and success depends on your business strategy. How well you have planned from creating to growing. Doing business requires a lot of hard work but it does not seem tiring because you love the work that comes along, but there comes a stage where your business is working fine but is not growing.
Do you want your business to grow but you are confused as from where to start?
You can avoid all those things by doing planning each and every phase of the business beforehand. Of course, you cannot plan everything, there can be some unforeseen situations that will demand a different managing strategy. By having a concrete plan for your business, situations like these will not derail your plans for growth and success. (more…)
There is no dеnуing the fасt thаt opening a business – no matter how big or ѕmаll – саn bе very сhаllеnging. Yоu hаvе to lооk аt ѕоmе factors to determine hоw well уоur business will реrfоrm. There is plenty of public information regarding American entpreneurs and small business ideas, but some tend to overlook the importance and appeal of some of Africa’s economies.
Wise реорlе dо rеѕеаrсh bеfоrе ѕtаrting a buѕinеѕѕ whiсh iѕ very important. Thеу lооk аt the dеmаnd of whаt thеу are offering and оftеn trу to ѕееk аrеаѕ with minimum соmреtitiоn or аrеаѕ thаt are easy to penetrate. (more…)
Mаrk Zuсkеrbеrg ѕhоwѕ trаnѕfоrmаtiоnаl leadership in асtiоn. Althоugh hе was fеаturеd аѕ a traitor in thе movie the Social Network, he fоundеd Facebook аnd turned it into a billiоn-dоllаr соmраnу, whiсh iѕ a ubiquitous company used by people all over the wоrld.
If уоu’rе thinking оf ѕtаrting уоur оwn ѕmаll business, thеn I can аѕѕurе уоu thаt уоu hаvе еvеrу chance оf bесоming ѕuссеѕѕful. Hоwеvеr, уоur сhаnсеѕ соuld be seriously jеораrdizеd bу mаking оnе оf thе mistakes mоѕt nеw ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеrѕ’ make.
Dоn’t fоr оnе mоmеnt think thаt thе success of уоur buѕinеѕѕ dереndѕ on itѕ ѕizе. Rаthеr it iѕ уоur аbilitу to ѕuссеѕѕfullу сrеаtе аnd еxесutе strategies thаt will attract, keep and expand your сuѕtоmеr base thаt will ѕignifiсаntlу impact the ѕuссеѕѕ оf your business.
Diѕсоvеr thе usual miѕtаkеѕ mоѕt nеw buѕinеѕѕ owner’s mаkе аnd dеtеrminе nоt to rереаt аnу of thеm with уоur business. Here are the five most common small business lessons from these common mistakes: (more…)
Many people are full of small business ideas, yet they do not have the cash-flow to really begin it. Fresh out of the box, new organizations are regularly turned down for bank credit, and regardless of the possibility that your business is set up, assets can in any case be hard to secure. Advances supported by the Small Business Administration are generally more available; however they are turning out to be progressively aggressive.
With that in mind, there are several alternative sources of small business financing to choose from: (more…)
Small business marketing is evolving quickly for small business owners, which implies that advertisers must be nimble in how they connect with potential buyers and communities.
As buyers navigate from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest and Instagram, offers and deals are processed in an unexpected way. Eventually, the system that will be best for your versatile marketing endeavors depends to a great extent on your gathering of people, their interests and the kind of offers available to you. (more…)
Since it’s the start of a new year, following old ways of carrying business activities won’t make a difference if you do not try something new. Small businesses may find it hard to survive because of the other giants in the market.
In order to cope with the established businesses, entrepreneurs carrying out business on a small scale would want some tips that can really help them jumpstart their business. In this article, we have incorporated 5 simple tips to give your business a new boost in 2017 and increase revenues and profits: (more…)
Starting, managing and growing a small business requires quite a bit of listening. Small business owners need to listen to customers, spot trends, solicit input from employees, and watch for regulatory and financial warning signs along the way to small business growth. Entrepreneurs without the ability to recognize these inputs and synthesize them into their strategic and day-do-day decision making often ultimately fail.
At the same time, there are times when it is important for small business owners to disregard inputs they hear from various sources. After all, there is a difference between detractors and non-believers versus those that are providing constructive feedback on how to make your small business more successful.
Here are three important scenarios where listening can be less helpful and more of a liability: (more…)
Chances are, you have a pretty good handle on the things that are most important to your small business and the industry you’re in. You’ve most likely identified a trend, problem, or opportunity and built a small business idea to address those needs in the market.
However, it is also important to keep an eye on bigger-picture small business trends that affect you as an entrepreneur and small business owner. In addition to the things affecting your small business and the industry you play in, there are a number of macro trends that every entrepreneur should be aware of.
Here are three current small business trends that are of particular important to small business owners in the process of taking their enterprises to the next level: (more…)
Incubators are an important trend in the startup world. Especially in technology hot spots such as San Francisco and New York, select small businesses take parts in these startup communities as a way to gain contacts, mentoring, infrastructure, and education to guide them on their journeys to small business growth.
While incubators can offer advantages to participating startups, they are not for everyone. In addition, although much media attention is given to startups permeating the startup community, they are not critical to the success of startups and small businesses. Just as is the case with any hot trend or topic with media buzz, it is important to understand the reality of incubators.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when considering whether or not your startup or small business should pursue involvement with an incubator: (more…)
Starting, managing, and growing a successful small business is much easier said than done. If it were easy, more people would do it – and more people would be successful entrepreneurs and we would have more Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerbergs, and Bill Gates in the world.
In reality, though, entrepreneurship and small business ownership is very difficult. Every day of owning a small business involves a number of curveballs, unpredictable variables, and other challenges that most business schools don’t teach. This career can be especially difficult for first-time entrepreneurs and small business owners. (For more, see our blog: The 5 Scariest Parts of Running a Small Business).
There is some good news, however. There are a number of resources that can provide the help, guidance, and assistance that may seem hard to find at times. In other words, you don’t have to be alone when it comes to navigating the waters of starting, managing, and growing a successful small business. And, you can learn from common mistakes of entrepreneurs – all without having to make those same mistakes on your own.
Below are three critical resources that can help you and your small business succeed, grow, and thrive without breaking the bank: (more…)
Earlier this week, we posted a blog outlining three reasons why small business growth is good for entrepreneurs and business owners. To summarize, the reasons are because you’re dying if you’re not growing, growth is the only way to create real wealth for yourself, and it’s the right thing to do (read the entire blog here).
While these are certainly valid points, small business growth is also a double-edged sword, with several risks and downsides. Starry-eyed entrepreneurs with grand visions of becoming the next big thing may not think about these challenges, but they are important to consider as you chart the course for your small business: (more…)
It is every entrepreneur’s dream to create a business that creates increasing success, money, and impact on society over time. In fact, most small business owners we work with have an innate and often times unspoken desire to succeed, grow, and enjoy the perks that come with that small business growth.
Beyond individual small business owners’ desire to enjoy success, though, we often times forget about the bigger picture benefits of small business growth. As it turns out, there are three distinct and compelling reasons why every entrepreneur should aim for sustained increases in their small business revenue and success: (more…)
It’s no secret that most businesses fail. By most measures, somewhere upward of 80% of small businesses and startups fail in their first few years of operation. What is less clear is why and how those small businesses fail.
Most small business failures are long in the making rather than overnight catastrophes. Experienced entrepreneurs will recognize the causes of and reasons for failure and take proactive and reactive actions to remediate those risks. Less experienced small business owners, on the other hand, won’t realize what hit them, even after the failure occurs.
There are several key early warning signs that, when properly remediated, can proactively provide a small business owner guidance on how to avoid small business failure and instead achieve small business growth. Here are three of the most common ones: (more…)
It’s not often that a reality show can provide meaningful small business lessons for entrepreneurs and business owners. There is one exception to this rule.
In addition to the antics of Donald Trump and celebrities as diverse as Flavor Flav, Gilbert Gottfried, and Donald Trump, several years of the TV show Celebrity Apprentice have brought many lessons for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Even though the show is well-scripted and staged for a reality show, it still provides several takeaways that we can apply to our small businesses: (more…)
One of the primary challenges of entrepreneurship is the fact that small business owners need to possess so many skills and wear so many hats in order to realize sustained small business growth. On the one hand, they are required to be the visionaries for their new business or startup, while at the same time they are required to be a detail-oriented executor who can rally his or her organization to get things done effectively.
This is one of the key reasons why so few entrepreneurs are successful at the various stages of small business growth, beginning with the startup phase all the way through sustained growth and, if things go well, becoming a large organization. While entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg provide case studies of those that can adjust and make the transitions through the various phases of growth, the reality is that most small business owners don’t have the personality types, skills sets, or interest in doing so.
Regardless of which phase your startup or small business may be in, there are a number of key roles that you need to fill as a small business owner. The skills and focus required for each of these roles are varied, which is just one reason why managing a small business can be so difficult.
According to the book The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, there are three key roles that small business owners must fill on a day-to-day basis: (more…)
Many successful small businesses begin with slow growth – sometimes painfully slow growth – before reaching a tipping point that propels them to steeper growth curves and success. But not every entrepreneur and small business owner understands the strategies and tactics required to reach the tipping point of small business growth.
There are a few strategies that successful small businesses use to reach the point of mass product acceptance and sustained growth. None of these approaches involve rocket science, but many entrepreneurs instead think they can simply rely on luck or time to make this happen.
Here are three ways that many small businesses are able to reach the tipping point of growth, scalability, and success: (more…)