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  • 06.24.09

Startup Strategy: Grow and Harvest Your Business

Many entrepreneurs struggle to develop a great product, and even after building a great product the road to significant market share may be difficult and take longer than expected.

by David Capece, Managing Partner of Sparxoo; with exerpts from Seth Godin’s blog

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As business builders and brand developers, we enjoy learning
from Seth Godin.  I found  his recent blog post on the importance of
sowing a startup seed and harvesting the crop
to be particularly on point (see below for an exerpt).  Many
entrepreneurs struggle to develop a great product, and even after
building a great product the road to significant market share may be
difficult and take longer than expected.  When businesses finally start
to clear hurdles and gain momentum, a startup strategy must maximize
returns through harvesting.

Your overall strategic plan should reflect opportunities for
harvesting.  In product development, are you building features and
benefits that match the needs of the market?  Can you get a few steps
ahead of the competition?  Do you have the funds necessary to impress
market insiders?

When you are working on your beta launch, choose your clients
wisely.  Will a great experience turn into positive word of mouth?  Is
this a client case study and testimonial that can be leveraged to gain
more clients because their opinion is respected and market needs are
similar?  As you deliver great work, will clients reward you with more
valuable contracts?  As you succeed, are you prepared for a big sales
and marketing initiative to sell into new clients and implement with
high success?  With each step, you must build on the next.  As you gain
momentum, you can grow by leaps.  When you finally get your
opportunity, you must be prepared to harvest.

Exerpt from Seth Godin’s blog

The goal is to reach the point where there’s some harvesting going
on. The first sales might cost you a hundred or thousand dollars each
to make. At some point, though, you want sales to happen for free,
people to show up with money. At some point, you want word of mouth to
replace promotion and to earn back the money you invested up front…Here
are some of the elements of a market where you are likely to reach the
point where you can harvest the benefits of your investment:

  • Word spreads. You want a market where stories of your success and reputation will reach other prospects.
  • Needs are similar. You want a market where the skills you developed to help one person can also be used to help another person.
  • Budgets exist. You want a market where there is more than one player with money to spend (on you) to solve a problem.
  • Barriers exist. The market should reward insiders
    (like you) but make it really difficult for copycats to come in and
    steal share and lower prices.
  • Price should rise with value delivered. As your work spreads and your reputation increases, you should be able to charge more, not less.

Photo by Lars Sundström from Stock.Xchng

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