Donít Fail Fast, Sell Fast?
Posted by Pierre de la Fortune on March 3, 2015 @ 12:07 a.m.
Written by Rand Media Group
The idea behind fail fast is to avoid spending a ton of time and money on an idea that isnít going to work. Hopefully, that is obvious to you. Everyone knows not to spend time on frivolity. The true question business owners struggle with is ďhow do you know if you are spending time on something worthwhile?
As entrepreneurs we think itís our job to know the difference between a future success and a foolish endeavor. Once you put away the business plan and go into the brutal honesty of the market place, business ainít always obvious. Experience, education, analytical rigour and ďgoing with your gutĒ seem like useful fortune telling tools, but they all suck. The spreadsheet skills you acquired at your corporate job are fairly useless. Your GPA will give you undeserved and misleading confidence. Your gut will change its mind every day. But there is something that will tell you exactly what you should be working onÖitís called a paying customer.
Many customers paying you lots of money is a good thing. Again, thatís obvious. What you need is an indcation of how many paying customers you can get and how much they will pay you. Fortunately, selling will give you that information pronto. Get in front of as many potential customers as you can and sell. Donít agonize over the price or the details. Donít spend months and months creating something in secret. Just get out and sell. Sell online. Sell in person. Sell over the phone. It doesnít matter. Just get to it. Sell fast.
If people pay you, youíre on to something. If people pay you AND tell their friends, you are really on to something. If they give you polite feedback, but donít pull out the credit card, stop. Rework your idea. Sell again. This is the most honest feedback youíll get. Sometimes youíll have to spend substantial time and money creating something before you can sell it. The next best thing is to talk to potential customers and do contingency selling. ďIf I build this thing, will you buy it?Ē This isnít as good. Push the situation as close to a sale as possible. ďIf I build this thing, will you pay me $10 a month starting in January?Ē Thatís better.
When you canít get there and sell, abstract feedback will have to suffice. ďIím thinking about building this thing, do you think people will buy it?Ē That isnít great, but itís better than keeping your idea to yourself.
Who you talk to matters. Your mom doesnít count. Your friends and family will tell you that you are smart and all your ideas are great. (Or they are miserable human beings and will trash your idea.) It doesnít matter. They donít know what they are talking about. You need to talk to as many potential customers as possible.
If you have to make decisions based on feedback, other than sales, pay very close attention to enthusiasm. People are generally nice, too nice really. They say nice things to your face. We forget this because we crave approval from people. We want to be told how clever we are. Donít trust what they say, trust how they say it.
Most people are lousy actors. If someone says ďthat sounds like a pretty good ideaĒ, that means they donít care. Which means itís going to be a heck of a lot of work to get others to care. If someoneís face lights up and they say ďthat is the best freakin idea Iíve ever heard in my life. When are you going to get it done? How much are you going to charge? Hey, my clients could really use that.Ē Thatís a good sign. If you donít hear that from some people, start over. Your idea isnít remarkable enough. That doesnít mean you canít make it a success with many years of hard work, but why work so hard? Just come up with a better idea. In order to get true feedback, you need to have a real product or service and sell it to real people. The trick is to get as close to that ideal scenario as fast and as cheap as you can, so you can get good enough feedback to make decisions. Once the market tells you that youíre on to something incredible, by all means spend years and years on it. But when the market tells you your idea isnít worth pursuing, cut bait fast. People can spend their entire lives on an idea that is poor or mediocre at best. Life is too short for that. Sell fast. For more info please visit: http://www.bitesizepr.com/sell-fast/
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