A first shot has been fired in battle that is sure to be interesting to see customers get real benefit of the competition for the massive communication and self organized collaboration services market that drive business.
As broad based bandwidth speed has evolved, communications have also developed to a high level of acceptance of the quality of Voice Over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) services now being be used widely to conduct business. People like Microsoft Yahoo AOL and others have had this technology long before Skype came along. Microsoft who I believe made a tactical error in 2003 when they began to charge for their net-meeting conferencing tool that were previously embedded in messenger, They were quickly overtaken as Skype timed its unbundled move to popularized their free alternative phone service that also did free video conferencing too.
Microsoft however have continued to invest massively in their VoIP stack they aim at the enterprise level Evidence of the value of their perseverance came with the released of it Unified Communications (UC) server suite. Now in its third market year It is now paying off well making a large dents in traditional PSTN and IP commutation carrier domains.
When you start a new business or new product there’s a lot to consider. Not only must you have a good product and story to go with it, you must build credible and persistent processes to maintain it and keep out your competitors.
In the early stages process are intense and costly. As you seek out early adopters to invest in your products to being them to market the first sales will cost more. You invest not only in product and capability but also in promotion. But the secret of success is to reach the breakeven point quickly.
At some point in your plan you must see the critical mass needed to reach sustainable levels of profitability and where you stop investing more money. You will also want to see sales able to come in more freely as word of mouth and repeat buying habits replaced your high cost of marketing and promotional effort.
Getting customers and keeping requires you earn the right with a good reputation with and be known to delver sustainable value with reliable service. And once you are established you must keep and ever more vigilant stay ahead in the game as competitors try leveraging and copying your work.
As you make outlay on skills, systems, machines and a team it is it is like making a garden of food. Planting the seeds and making them grow to mature is only part of the investment. A great deal more effort is also required to get the product to market. That needs good processes for placement to sell and deliver new and repeat business that works for your customers.
Then as they learn about you and of your value and how to buy from you, your aim is to then have then impressed to want to form habits and continue to come back.
Here are some of marketing plan elements most experts say you need to consider to make all that happen:
- Word spreads where your success and reputation reach other prospects.
- Repeatable process occurs where your work for one can be used to help another.
- Budgets exists where there is more than one player with money and a need to solve a problem.
- Barriers exist so it is hard for copycats to steal a share share of your business & to lower prices.
- Prices rise as reputation increases and so you can charge more, not less.
In a services and many small business a large percentage don’t measure up. Banks also worry about these aspects when they get business plans that ask them for funding.
Have a think about how you business plan looks. If it meets these criteria you are on a winner. But if it is not working as you would like or you have some doubts, get some advice to help you understand how make it happen.
It’s time again for the annual ‘Stella Awards’! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald’s in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That’s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.
Here are the Stella’s finalists for the past year:
Leaning social skills is something that is high on curriculums in baby schools. Nurturing to encourage kids to work together and to understand each other and how they fit is a critical part of early development.
But teaching a group how to sell itself is another thing. In many cases these concepts are not formally engaged until university level or even later when individuals join the workforce. And then only when they have aptitude to fit as leader that qualifies them for management courses.
I recently had a chance to join a Kickoff meeting of a very interesting BI project.
Normally stakeholders and key players are invited to join such meetings as they share an interest in the outcome of the project.
Stakeholders also bring a unique value to the project, especially in the beginning, aligning together to support it to get off to a good start.