That was the plaintive cry on a message from a colleague as Christmas looms ahead of us.
“If I do an adequate job of marketing (without killing myself), how many people should I expect to purchase my products within the next year?” she pleaded…
WOW – Where to Start..?
A couple of quick questions reveal that she is trying to get some “certainty” for the coming year – I suspect she meant financially – but in trying to gain that certainty, she is introducing new products, stepping into new markets, and she hasn’t analysed her potential new buyers yet.
She wasn’t clear on what “adequate marketing” actually meant, and she had not done a “Time Contract” with herself to decide how much time she was willing to commit to this new venture.
So my recommendation to her was to STOP…!
Here are 4 Key Questions to Build Your Future Success
I suggested that she draws on her previous experience, and use that as a “springboard” for her future product expansion.
She already does Professional Speaking and has secured a number of speaking gigs, so I suggested she “audit” her success in that business stream as a starter for 10….
I asked her these 4 questions:
Q: What part did your PhD play in getting you recognised..?
(This will help to establish her credibility, to be used in the future)
Q: How did you “break into” the Speaking Circuit..?
(This will help clarify who helped her open those customer doors initially – and she could go back to them again)
Q: Remember your 1st speaking gig – was it paid or promotional (Free)..?
(This helps to identify her previous “go-to-market” strategy, which may have started with Freebie Sales to establish visibility)
Q: What is your ultimate goal (for both your speaking venture and new venture).
(Will they be connected, and potentially even feed off or cross-promote each other)
Why look back..? You want to move forward..!
Most times, it is not necessary to “re-invent the wheel”. If you crave certainty, then look at what you have already learned, and then build on it. Normally, our learnings have been hard won – and often very painful. So don’t waste them.
We can use the learning experiences that we have already invested in and earned, and put them to good use.
Your Success of the Future can easily be a bigger and better Reflection of the Learning from the past…
The first 3 questions will give you a guide to your previous success and methods you employed – and the things you have learned from..!
You can “copy them across” to your new business plan (because that is your natural style and you have proven successes using these methods)
The last question will calibrate your PASSION for what you are trying to do, and will determine how far / how fast you should aim to go. This will fill your “fuel tank” for the future, which will create the energy for everything that you do going forward.
Moving into a new product or a new market does not have to be dangerous – it just needs to be thought through…