Tuesday, June 13, 2017

D + S: The Two Inevitable Roles That You Assume When You Become an Entrepreneur

Every entrepreneur's dual job: S+D
How many times have you met an entrepreneur like you, who has had a wonderful idea, who has managed to turn it into an interesting product but who, unlike you, has not found a way to make this interesting idea become a profitable product?

And it just happens that in the entrepreneurship world much importance is often given to product development, as if only developing a product with extraordinary quality was reason enough to guarantee the idea will become a profitable business.

In an article posted in this blog a while ago, entitled "Are you an entrepreneur and don’t like selling?" I addressed the same topic, and did the same when I wrote my first book "A Salesman? Me?" - Sales Manual for Entrepreneurs. (As of this moment, only in Spanish)

It has become a recurrent conversation in my routine as a business management consultant: the very important (and inevitable) responsibility every entrepreneur has to engage, to a greater or lesser degree, in the sales management of its project or enterprise.

And you will be asking yourself, "Why is it so?"

Developing a high quality and differentiated product or service is not optional.

The first "D" of this post’s title is well understood by everyone, or at least, those who have decided to become entrepreneurs:  product "Development." Everyone wants to develop the best product / service in the world, with a differentiated value proposal that distinguishes it from the other products existing in the market.

And in such "Development" they concentrate most of their efforts and, generally, of their money too.

It is true that in order to build up your space within the market you must develop a product / service of excellent quality and properly differentiated. Something worth talking about, something you can feel proud of. Of course, that is true.

However it would be sad, at least from my professional point of view, to have an idea that can change the world, a product that can be what people refer to as "top-of-line" and then, due to the limitations that any project may have, you find falling short of your own initial expectations and seeing an abysmal difference between what you first thought of and what you developed at the end.

Of course, I have to say “yes”: Developing a product of extraordinary quality is very, if not extremely important. And although in principle I agree with this way of doing things, I also have to tell you that it is not the most complete approach to the subject..

Again, why?

Businesses depend on the Sales they generate and nothing else.

And that is the second letter appearing on the title of this post: The "S" stands for sales. It's the second role you assume the very same day you decide to turn your wonderful idea into a business proposal from which you and your family can make a living. And maybe it's the most important role you are going to have and one you should never run away from.

Because, even when you can hire a sales agency or an individual to manage the sales area on your business’ behalf, it will always be of your greatest interests to observe how, as the days and months go by, your business’ sales keep growing, ¿ or will it not?

Of course everything works great when sales are on the right track and flow normally. Who would complain at a time like that?

No one complains when the sales go well. Why would they do it, if there is plenty of money to spend?

Who would complain when all is well and there is enough money (and sometimes more than enough) to pay for company’s commitments, and even enough to grow a bit, although not very clear on what kind of growth or in which direction?

However, what would you do, for instance, if the sales agency or the individual you commissioned sales management for your business does not do a good job and your sales start to decline?

What are you going to do then? Quit your project and throw it all away? Of course you will not do such a thing!

But then, what do you do in that case? Obviously the answer would be to look for other alternatives, but the decrease in sales in your business is a very serious problem that you have to solve right away.

And it is precisely here where we all come to accord on that very one point: Who is responsible for solving your business’ sales problems?

The sales agency you hired for, or the person who was doing the job? Or is it your sole and unique responsibility?

Product Development and Sales (D + S): The very essence of your business success.

That is why in my consulting sessions I always emphasize this point, when the topic arises during the conversation: As much as you can delegate tasks to people and companies extraordinarily competent, the one person interested in DEVELOPING the highest quality product possible and with a value added proposal differentiated and appealing, it’s always going to be yourself as the owner and creator of the project.

And after devoting so much effort to develop the product, you are the first person interested in monetizing all those efforts and turning your project into a profitable business. Who wouldn’t be?

And “becoming profitable” only happens when the SALES of your business grow in an orderly and consistent way, regardless if you have hired only a salesperson or a full scale marketing team for that matter.

Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, it is your business, it is your project, your dream.

When people refer to your entrepreneurship being some kind of a child you give birth to, they are referring precisely to this sort of extremely close relationship that is established from the very first minute between your project and your own.

As much as you can find responsible and efficient companies and people on whom to delegate many of the several tasks involved in running a business on a safe and secure way, it will always be your responsibility to ensure that D + S are performing optimally, that your company is developing a product of excellent quality with an added value proposal differentiated, and also has put into motion a sales process sufficiently well structured, planned and executed to generate the best results possible.

Could it be otherwise?

Photo credit: View Portfolio / Robert Kneschke

Post that complement the content of this one which you would like to read:
Are you an entrepreneur and do not like selling?
What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Sales and Why?
You Need To Update Your Own Personal Processor: From Being A Spectator to Taking A Main Role In Your Play

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