by Angela Reed-Fox
Anyone who tells you this thinks business success is a lot easier than it actually is - and if it were this easy, everyone would be doing it.
"Build it and they'll come" is a misquote of the phrase "Build it and he'll come" from the 1980s film Field of Dreams. In the business setting, it implies that all you need to do is bring a product to market for it to be successful.
This completely ignores the fact that once the product is in the marketplace, it's then that you can do your most rigorous product-testing - on real customers. Listen to them - what do they like? Do more of it. What don't they like? Definitely do less of that.
It's at this point that you can release new features you've been holding back.
And it's also at this point that if your marketing isn't on point, the message just isn't going to get out there.
How do you encourage them to come?
Build your brand
Your brand is the personality of the business. It is how your product 'speaks' to customers and those who are still to try it out. In today's uber-social marketing climate, you need a strong brand. You need quality interactions with your customers.
If you ask for opinions on aspects of your brand or marketing, just be sure that the person understands what you're trying to achieve with your brand voice.
Don't get too emotionally involved in the product you're offering. Yes you should love it - but at the same time you should be able to look at it critically and make necessary changes. If you can't be objective, find someone you can trust, and ask their opinion.
Are you offering an 'easy in"? Is it easy for customers to join in? Test the pathway - does it work? Is it easy for people to sign up or register with you? Is it easy for them to purchase their first class? Is there any information they might find helpful before they arrive - and if so, how do you ensure they get it?
Don't rely on just one or two ways of getting your message out. Get your plans together and keep tweaking as the data comes in. More of what works, less of what doesn't.
Does everything happen that needs to happen in order to deliver your product to a happy customer?
Easily overlooked - but keep an eye on costs, particularly in your initial phase. Discipline with costs is a super-effective way of keeping the bottom line in check.
That goes for your brand, your product, your delivery and processes, your target market, your marketing streams. Everything. Know how to test, and have targets. Have a plan for when you do or don't hit your target.
Keep an eye on these points above, then they'll come.
And love it.
And come back again and again.
With their mates.
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