If you can’t sell, what are you doing here?
As the days go by and we see unemployment rise and the entrepreneurial spirit kick in, I have to say that quite often, I am concerned by what I see. Yes I get it, we are in a tech boom right now, and from what I can see, this will last for the next couple of years, it will then turn into a bubble, it will continue to grow and then that bubble will eventually burst and those who have entered the boom late, or don’t understand the game properly will lose a lot.
I am not anti-capital investment, I probably don’t have as deep of an understanding about it as many people reading this would have, but I do understand that if someone is giving you dollars, they expect those dollars back with profit. This week I saw a company that has not made a single sale since it began 12 weeks ago receive $55 000 in funding from a few investors and they don’t intend to start “really driving” sales right at the moment. I don’t get it.
My thinking around these things is why would you give away a slice of the pie, when you already have a product ready to go and you can hit the phones / streets / markets etc and start making money from it, bootstrap things for a bit and make that $55,000 and then move on to phase two once you have it. Sure it may take a bit longer and it is definitely a bit harder, but if you don’t start selling stuff then what is the point of having a business in the first place?
Maybe it’s just me, I made the mistake of getting into a lot of debt at a very young age, that lesson taught me that I hated paying things back and only liked using money I actually had. That is why both businesses I am involved in are geared heavily towards sales and profitability and the next phases of the business model are never started until the first one is producing enough income to cover the next steps.
Some ideas are brilliant and do go on to change the world and are valuable because of their data and information, I only have to look at twitter and Facebook to see that. But personally if I was to start investing in startups it would be because they have a clear sales strategy and I would be wanting to see my money used for a strong sales and marketing campaign, I like the smart money investor approach, hell I would even get on the phones for them.
If you can’t sell your product, what are you going to say to your sales staff when they don’t bring in the goods, or they say the market doesn’t want it? If you can’t sell your business, why even bother starting it in the first place?
Sales are a pain, but you can’t obtain real growth without them.