The biggest mistake entrepreneurs can make is to fail to appreciate the importance of a proper Business Development plan. A plan that defines the target customers, the product(s) / service(s) to be offered and pricing, strategic marketing and sales plans, and tactics to achieve them, etc. It's a common pattern for entrepreneurs to construct a half hearted marketing strategy and focus all attention on the development and release of their software. The reality of this mistake hits them when the 10 target customers show a lukewarm response to the product or wish to wait until they can talk to some users. What ensues is a chaotic "all hands on deck" response and frantic activities. The reaction follows the 5 stages of acceptance; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. It isn't until the final stage that entrepreneurs decide to invest in a proper Business Development plan.
The thinking is always the same; all we need are a few customers, they'll spread the news and the sales will start rolling in…we should heavily discount or give the software away . This is the bargaining stage. The Denial and Anger stages tend to happen about the same time and are identified when the entrepreneur calls the customers “idiots” and makes statements like “my idea is too revolutionary for them”. The Depression stage is dangerous for the startup, because at this stage the entrepreneur has lost faith in their idea and they’re questioning the decision to bring the business to life. We’ve had to talk a many an entrepreneur off the ledge during this stage.
Unfortunately during the first 4 stages a lot of time and money can be wasted, weakening the company. In fact we’ve experienced entrepreneurs taking as long as 2 years to get to the Acceptance stage before agreeing to bring in KENOVA to help them with their Business Development strategy.
Far too many entrepreneurs believe if they build it customers will come. The reality is, internet or no internet, sales needs leads, so a sound strategy must be formed to make sure there are sufficient leads.
For more information on Business Development strategies, see Business Development plan construction and coaching.
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