Many famous entrepreneurs and business leaders have failed before hitting it big. One example is Henry J. Heinz, who went bankrupt at the age of 31, but his company went on to become a household name and still is more than a century later. We remember successes — and forget failures. And in business, one of the biggest ways to fail is to ignore your customers and your markets.
Gary G. Schoeniger, Founder and CEO, The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, is our featured guest in this Episode of The Small Business Trends Radio. Gary talks about how NOT to fail – by listening closely to your customers.
- Find a problem or a need — that many people have (what the market is demanding), discover a solution for it and offer it to them.
- Listen to the market — and try to find evidence to poke holes in your idea and offer it to others to critique. This may go against the grain of rational thinking, however, you will find that the idea that makes it through unscathed – is the best choice for a marketable product or service. Criticism can assist you in making beneficial changes – and you will ultimately deliver exactly what the market demanded.
- Be prepared for change — because it is essential to growth. Remaining curious, adventurous and welcoming change as a challenge ensures that you and your business remain “ahead of the curve.”
Gary, himself, is an example of success through meeting market demands. His first business was a gutter cleaning and painting business. An idea that sounds simple enough, however, by responding to basic market needs he eventually built the business into a multi-state, multimillion dollar construction management firm.
It is important to remember that people will always pay for a solution. Ignore your market, ignore the demand – and you’re sure to see failure.
If you’d like to learn more about Gary’s insights into the perils of ignoring market demands, you can do so by clicking the red and yellow player below and listening to his full interview.