Let me tell you a critical story about starting businesses nowadays. Start learning these two skills I’m about to go over, and you will be successful. With only 2 skills you can start almost any business on earth and be a success. These imperative skills are marketing and innovation. Marketing is so incredibly scary when you don’t understand it. I was so useless as a marketer when i first began starting businesses. I quickly realized that the only thing worse than sucking a marketing, was being an entrepreneur and sucking at marketing. And innovation, well that’s fairly scary too isn’t it? When you’re starting your own business, or growing a company it’s all about marketing and innovation. If you don’t understand these topics, you’d better learn quick, or you’re screwed.
It wasn’t long ago that I finished Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad and thought to myself, “Wow! I am such an employee. I gotta make a change.” This book changed my outlook on life, as it has many others. But it was just the a start. It’s easy to read that book and be motivated to make changes. Since I finished that book I’ve started 4 businesses. 2 of them in real estate and 2 more online businesses. What is great about all of them is that they have low startup costs. The online businesses especially. Creating a business for just a few hundred dollars is incredible, because even if they fail you can just start another one. I’ve spent thousands of hours learning to grow these businesses on my own and through various training programs. The really important thing I learned was that marketing and innovation are where it’s at. They are without a doubt the keys to success in your business. Nothing else matters if you can’t market or innovate. Nothing.
There’s a great quote from Peter Drucker. “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
Without marketing, no one knows your product or service exist. Without good marketing no one cares enough to ever purchase your product or service. Becoming good at marketing can transform your business in a massive way. When I launched my first business, I thought I knew a thing or two about marketing. By that I mean, I knew how to say to potential customers, “Here is my product and here is the price.” And I knew how to show that to a few people offline. What I didn’t know was how to make people want to view it and want to order it. Moreover, I certainly didn’t know how to do this online, aside from making some easy Kijiji and Craigslist ads. Then I did something crazy. I started to educate myself on marketing and more specifically, online marketing. I’m very excited about where my businesses are headed now. Your business, whether it be an offline or online business, needs internet exposure in the year 2013. You need to be there in a big way too. This requires education. A simple, well designed website is great, but you also need compelling headlines and good copywriting. You won’t understand these things without some first hand experience so it isn’t always easy. But then being an entrepreneur isn’t supposed to be easy.
Innovation is a key to being able to actually sell your products. Innovation is about creating products or services that are new, better and different, but more importantly providing solutions to your customers. Innovation must provide solutions for your customers. This was something that I was aware of, but I still wasn’t using it completely in my businesses. The number one rule here is to quit thinking about ways to help your business prosper, and instead think about how you can help your customers grow or solve their problems. You’ll see this reflect on your business as a result. Serve your customers needs and show that you care about them. Always be serving their needs instead of yours. Your marketing will be so much more simplified when you do this.
When you understand marketing and innovation, you’ll basically be able to build the marketing into your product, making the rest of your business run better. Marketing and innovation are all that matter. The rest can be developed as you go. now I understand the points that Robert Kiyosaki made in the Rich Dad Poor Dad book even more. Gaining the education is incredibly important to your success. Unfortunately its tough to find this type of education in our school systems.