Small Business Trends Radio

The #1 Way to Fail in Business: Ignore Your Market

Gary G. Schoeniger on The #1 Way to Fail in Business: Ignore Your Market

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.

JumpUpHere’s a sampling of topics from the show:

  • 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.

3 Responses to “The #1 Way to Fail in Business: Ignore Your Market”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Gary answered a lot of questions that I have always wondered about. He makes good points and gives reasonable tips. I myself have always wondered how the market has room for all of these dollar stores. I have 3 in my town within a mile of each other. The last one that just opened is not doing so well and I don’t see it lasting very much longer. The other 2 are larger name stores and this is a small self owned store. Obviously they didn’t consider how the larger 2 would affect them.

  2. Chris Says:

    I liked the example that Gary provided regarding the gentleman who wanted to open a Quizno’s in a rural area – because HE wanted a Quizno’s nearby – without considering that the demand for a Quizno’s was sparce. I see this all too often even in my own local area. I feel for these people that open coffee houses and the like in areas where the demand for that type of establishment is low. There here for a year or so – then poof! Gone.

  3. Martin Lindeskog Says:

    We have listened to the market and found a need for a “third place”, but the location of our business center was not optimal and it took longer time to reach out to the potential customers than we had anticipated. Now we will learn from this and change accordingly. We will in the future cooperate with already established firms, e.g. coffee shops or business hotels with office space, wanting to add value to their business with our Blue Chip concept.

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