A Plan for Your Product or Service
You and your company must have a good reason to be in the business of entrepreneurship. No matter how well-intended you may be or how hard you work, if you don’t have a commodity that people really need and want then you’re going to have a hard time succeeding in the long run. Think of your company like an ice cream sundae. You are the base holding everything together whereas the product or service you provide to your potential customers must be the flavor itself. It’s the part of your company that is central to your success and it helps to legitimize everything above and below it. It should be adaptable to various customers’ desires, yet wide-reaching enough that most people would need or want it. Even if you take everything else away from your product, it should be able to stand on its own merits (much like ice cream should in a sundae) and that means it is likely the most important part of your business. It’s essential to make sure whatever you decide to sell is both a game changer in its field and is economical to produce. Think long and hard about what makes the product or service you are selling unique or profitable and then push as strongly on that axis as you can.
Competition can be a scary thing in regards to what you’re selling, but you should honestly look at it as a resource. Finding out that others are doing something similar to you doesn’t automatically mean they are just a threat to your company. Pay close attention to what your competitors are doing to get a leg up and don’t be afraid to make small changes if someone else figures out something truly great. You want your product to be your own, but there is no reason that if someone else figures out a better process that you should avoid it simply because you didn’t come up with it. Stubbornness will restrict creativity and in the long run, you are doing yourself and your company a disservice if you aren’t looking into every avenue available in order to improve your product.
A sense of realism between you and your product or service is important in your ability to prosper in the business world. Make sure you have the resources, time, and skills required to truly chase after whatever design you have laid out for yourself ahead of time, otherwise you could be marooned with a great idea and no vessel to actually transport it. If a product seems like it’s going to be a nightmare for you to develop, create, manufacture, or distribute it's likely going to be a tough item to sell for a prolonged or profitable period of time. Likewise, if you don’t have an abundance of time to dedicate to fulfilling your would be service agreements, getting into a field that requires you to put in loads of hours simply completing the jobs you obtain doesn’t make much sense. Plan accordingly for all the obstacles your company may face and your product will thrive for it.
Finally, your product absolutely must match with who you are as the business owner. In theory, anybody can sell anything. In practice, however, it makes much more sense for a product to be sold by someone who is in tune with why the product exists and who truly believes in its potential. After all, who wants to eat ice cream with toppings that aren’t suited for it? If you don’t have a passion for fashion or aren’t particularly interested in art, you likely should stay away from designing clothes or selling paintings. Don’t try and sell something that you would not want to be sold. Figure out your own skill set and fascinations and then dedicate yourself to being the best you possibly can be in those fields. In time, your company will catch up to your obsession with whatever it is you are selling and once you reach that point you can really convert your product into something valuable for you - and your customers.