Enterprise

Marketing can make or break a new venture

salesw
murori

Summary

  • Statistics paint a grim picture on the survival rate of start-ups anywhere in the world.
  • The blame is always laid on factors such as lack of capital, poor planning, financial illiteracy, competition and poor product development.
  • These factors are widely considered as the black spots that must be avoided in the entrepreneurial journey.

Every year several businesses are started by entrepreneurs who have taken several years dreaming and planning. Sadly, many of them don’t survive to maturity.

Statistics paint a grim picture on the survival rate of start-ups anywhere in the world. The blame is always laid on factors such as lack of capital, poor planning, financial illiteracy, competition and poor product development.

These factors are widely considered as the black spots that must be avoided in the entrepreneurial journey. Thus most entrepreneurs spend considerable time trying to amass capital, planning and researching on the specific areas they desire to venture in.

This still does not shield them from possible business failure.

The single greatest determinant of business success is marketing that is done before, during and after launching your products into the market.

Things like capital and competition play a secondary role in the success of an enterprise. If you do your marketing well and develop a product that your target customers want, in a manner that they want and at a price that they can afford and is profitable to you, your success is almost guaranteed.

This is because challenges such as lack of adequate capital can be compensated by easily getting partners, financiers and external supporters. Competition cannot break your back when you have good products that people need and can afford.

One of the biggest start-up mistake is to focus so much on competition instead of rolling sleeves and chasing customers. Actually it is the failure to acquire customers that hurt business more than the activities of the competitor.

As a start-up entrepreneur, your biggest asset is your products and agility to tell as many people about it as possible.

Having a good product is just the beginning. Shouting loud enough so that you can be heard in a noisy and chaotic market is progress.

Most start-ups fail at acquiring customers, not at building products. Building or developing and offering a product that is better than your competitors is not hard and many start-ups can, and actually do it. The real task that determines who wins the day lies in marketing. You need to tell your prospects that you have a product that can address their needs better.

Product development and marketing go hand in hand. It is common for startups to focus on product development and design but without good marketing and promotion no one will see and buy it.

When a product fails to sell, capital get depleted or strained, all activities are affected and the blame shifts to economy, competition, staff issues and government policies.

The only way to ensure you don’t contribute to the statistics of businesses that fail to mature is to focus on your business. Take time to study what your target customers need and provide it.

Once you have the right product embark on a journey of promoting it so that people can buy and use it. The chief reason why most your target customers are not using your product is not because of your competitor. Most likely it is because they don’t know you or it is not presented in a way they value.

Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market. [email protected]