Which Came First, the Offering or the Sale?

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[Chicken OR Egg picture]

There’s a reason that – when they like what they see – the sharks of Shark Tank then ask about sales.
The next answer is a critical point. Are we soaring to a great offer, or is everything suddenly slowing down, and the air leaving the room?
You know why.
There’s the value of a great idea/offering.
THEN, there’s the value of a great idea proven by sales numbers.
(Hand waving in air as someone wants to ask) But what if my idea is the equivalent of ‘sliced bread’ or a ‘better mousetrap’ or ‘the next gizmo-no-one-even-knows-they-need’ but they will just have to have soon’?
Well, if you want to get a shark to invest – or if you ‘simply’ want to have a business you’ve got to somehow acquire – sales.
On last weeks’ Free Office Hours webinar, I discussed this with a longtime business owner whose business was upended by the pandemic. She wanted to transition into a related business that could serve existing, longtime clients in a new way, and be less physically demanding. She’s enrolled in a course to learn a modality she plans to offer in a new 2-day workshop.
The course itself if grueling, and – like many similar endeavors – culminates with competency, but not business. So, though she will have climbed the mountain of learning something and obtaining a certification, there’s another mountain that must be completed to have a successful, sustainable business.
Climbing that mountain – in the example given – involves mastering the following items.
1. Selling
2. Branding
3. Marketing
Oh, and:
4. Pricing
5. Naming
These crucial elements don’t come naturally to everyone. Without these, you may make a few sales in the short-term, but you’ve got to figure out items 2-5 to have sustainable sales.
Yes, you can buy or subcontract your ways out of some of the items. Sometimes. My observation is hiring or outsourcing only works well with a great manager in charge, who also has crystal-clear clarity about the offering and the market. In other words, a lot of work and responsibility remain in your lap.
I think this daunting-to-many list is a big reason why people find franchises appealing. Franchises normally provide items 2-5, so you can concentrate on selling and order fulfillment.
Not a business owner? You still need to sell, whether looking for a job or a promotion, or applying for a degree. We all have brands, prices for our value, and ways to market.
Chickens and eggs. Ideas/offerings and sales. Doesn’t matter what comes first, but, boy-oh-boy, we need both.
Oh, and one more thing about chickens & eggs. It’s true – we shouldn’t put them all in one basket.
Until next time

This blog is originally published in Marilee's newsletter.
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Marilee Driscoll

Writer/published author/awarded poet. Meditator. Gardener. Badminton, running. Consultant/coach/biz owner/keynote speaker by trade.