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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Van Derven

Null & Void

Looking at today’s business playing field, you can see one of two things. One being a wide-open landscape of opportunity, filled with birds flying, excellent weather, trees on either side of you, and bright green grass ready for you to frolic in. On the other hand, there’s a par 3 hole on a golf course with the scratch players playing by your side. Sure, eventually you will make it into the hole, but how long can you stick it out?

Being first to market is one of the many advantages you can have in a given business space, but what happens when that space is flooded with experienced players? Is it really worth the time and effort?

You may know about first-mover advantage; the myth that being first to the market is a sure-fire way to succeed. But more importantly, what you need to focus on is satisfying customer needs. You may have a product that you are passionate about and maybe you have even shared this with your family and friends. This is an excellent product, and you have no reason to believe otherwise. I am not here to tell you any different, I am here to strengthen your view. Imagine me as your motivator, and as your motivator, I am here to convey a few mantras to you.

First, Focus on the Big Picture. It may be difficult at times to get wrapped up in competition, but if you stand out in your client and customer’s eyes and gain loyalty, nothing can stop you.

Second, Reconstruct Market Boundaries. Can your product or service be applied elsewhere? Is your current target market dried up? Look at it from multiple angles or maybe simplify what you do to a sentence. What possibilities do you see?

Third, Reach Beyond Existing Demand. Use that magic 8-ball, your customers, to gaze into the future. If you start to hear multiple customers or outside forums and blogs say “This would be so cool if it did …..” Maybe you should look into offering this service or ability. If you already have the ingredients for a salad because you serve hamburgers, offer the salad too!

Lastly, Get a Strategic Plan Together. This involves customer research; no, you cannot just sit at a desk and send spam emails all day. Reach out in person, skype, or via phone, to establish relationships with potential customers. If you are not in a service field and it is about a product, customer service is still the most important aspect of a business along side product quality.

That is what Social Advisors is built on. Before terms such as social media management and social media engagement carried such a heavy weight as they do now, Social Advisors filled the void of busy bee business owners like yourself, not able to keep up with their social media. Or maybe you are a social media queen or king and want to expand your knowledge. Since then, we have grown into other facets and are always keeping up with the latest trends. However, the concepts of entering an uncontested marketplace remain the same. Fill the void and listen to customers.[Special_Issue_June_2011]/33.pdf

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