The 3 high level ways to create a new (or enhance your existing one) product or service
When you’re working on selling more of your products or services, creating new products and enhancing the ones you already have you have 3 primary, high level ways to get it done. You either build it, you buy it, or you partner with someone else for it. In this 2 part series, I’ll be demonstrating some high level experiences to these approaches to product and service creation. I’m currently working on a “Build Buy Partner Scoring Matrix ™” that allows you to fine tune your decision making process and find a strategy that best fits your situation. Look for this in future posts, but I’ll email you when it’s done.
Regardless if you choose to build it, buy it or partner for it, consider your main objective in this phase is to actually have a product or service that is ready to sell. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of business owners get so caught up in having their ego’s stroked while their bank accounts die a fast death.
Build it – This strategy to coming up with a new product or service is the one that most business owners initially choose to take, yet it’s the most costly route as far as time and money goes. Considering how fast the wants and needs of your clients change and unless you have deep pockets for a circular product creation cycle, this option isn’t as glamorous as you once thought. If you’re a small business owner with a limited budget and time and you don’t need to own all the intellectual property rights, I’d advise you to consider partnering with others, at least initially to validate that there really is a market for what your about to invest massive amounts of time and money into.
Beware of what I call, “Builder Remorse” Builders Remorse signifies a critical decision junction that many new business owners make. New business owners, and overtimes seasoned business owners think that their product is bigger and better in some undefinable way and their going to outsell their competition simply because it’s theirs. One word on that. Ego! Even though the product or service is 95% the same as everything that’s in the marketplace already. Their 5% differentiation is just an unproven theory. Ideas are everywhere, good ideas are limited and great ideas or sparse. Don’t wind up retiring your ideas, product and services to theory-ville instead of the singing the golden mantra of marketing. Test, test, test.
Buy it – This may be a better option for you to get started quickly and bring your concept to market. While it may be harder to find an off the shelf product that matches your vision, consider the time savings you’ll have in getting your product or service to marketing by buying a version of your vision that you can alter. Either add to it or incorporate it into your existing product.
Partner for it – A better way to create a sales distribution channel or fear of losing your intellectual property, reputation, time and money? Anyone that’s ever done a real partnership deal (not just and email list endorsement) will tell you that there can be 100’s of tasks, details and questions to figure out prior to even endorsing, selling or integrating your product into someone else’s sphere of influence, sales processes, follow-up processes, sales teams and up-sell strategies.
On the down side, you’ll hear about horror stories that partners are lazy, unethical, don’t know what’s going on in their own camps, have undelivered promises, don’t follow-up and have circumvented you and gone direct with someone else. The number one reason I see that partnership deals fail is unclear and unrealistic expectations. Followed by a close 2nd to personality clashes and lack luster attitudes towards getting issues solved with potential partners. Yes, some form of ramshackle dealings will happen to you if you decide to create a partnership marketing program (PMP) and go this route without the proper preparation, expectations and mindset.
However, there’s great possible upside leverage with partnership deals. If you’re upfront and honest about what you have to offer and how you can beneficially contribute to the project you’re taking the first step to creating mutually beneficial and profitable relationships. If you’re well prepared, create a master plan, a letter of intent, communicate and follow-up regularly with your key partners then partnership deals can be the most profitable, fastest time to market, highest yielding, repeatable, reproducible marketing strategies you’ll ever put together and execute and profit from.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture and Referral Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture and Referral relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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