“What’s the most essential element of a beach restaurant?” my marketing professor asked his packed class.
He didn’t wait for our reply.
“It’s the quality of the sign that customers see on the highway driving into town!” he thundered. “If your sign is of poor quality people won’t go to your restaurant.”
Later in the semester this professor’s TA told us, “You could have the best soft drink product in the world, but if you can’t manage the distribution channels of getting your beverage into stores you won’t be able to sell much of anything. And even once you get it into stores it makes a difference whether your product is on a shelf at eye level or one down at the ground.”
There are two morals in these stories.
1) People can only engage with products or services that they know about.
2) The quality of the message of your business’ existence matters.
Earlier this year I asked if any of you were interested in learning about entrepreneurship, and I got a solid response of ‘yes’. This is the first of a few articles I’ll be posting on starting and running a business.
It’s the first because it contains the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far as an entrepreneur.
Solid marketing is critical to success.
Most entrepreneurs go into business because they are fully engaged with delivering a particular product or service to people.
Yet this is literally only half of the equation. The other half is handling all the related promotion and marketing. This means working to let people know that you exist and that you have a solution to their problems. In today’s world a large part of this marketing will be done online.
One of my favorite lines about running an online business is from a blog post by Bev Barnes. She writes, “Entering the online business world is like going through the hidden wall to get on the Hogwarts train. There is a huge on-line community that you don’t realize is there until you go through the wall – so to speak.”
Today I wanted to give you a heads up that marketing is something you must pay attention to if you want to succeed in business. I’ll share a couple marketing strategies and ideas in upcoming posts.
(PS.There are a lot of parallels between marketing a business and marketing yourself during a job search. Even if you aren’t interested in becoming an entrepreneur the same general principles of getting yourself out there and known apply when you are looking for a job.)