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Published:April 14th, 2008 07:41 EST
Go Where the Customers Are

Go Where the Customers Are

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

The Shortest Distance to No Customers

I was having coffee with a good friend of mine yesterday who said something that exemplified entrepreneurial thinking. And it wasn't the kind of entrepreneur thinking that I want to continue to promote. It's the kind of entrepreneur thinking that gets companies in great trouble, and I would like to educate you about the error of this logic so that you don't make a similar mistake.

One of my friends was recently invited to participate in a radio show. That means that his company would be the sponsor and he would pay a fee in order to buy some time on this radio program. This program is distributed over the Internet, so it's not a traditional local station, and it has rather far-reaching implications.

When I reviewed the material to learn about this radio opportunity that my friend had told me he would like me to get involved in, it was clear and obvious to me that the station and the material that he was promoting was not consistent with the type of business that he had. My friend is in the finance business, and the radio show was being played on a station that was dedicated to health, beauty, cosmetics, vitamins and the like. When I had coffee with my friend in preparation for the sponsorship of the show, he asked me how I liked the presentation of the station.

I told him that I didn't see any consistency between what he was selling and with the format of the radio show. I said that this doesn't appear to be a business station or a business program. His immediate response was, "Isn't that great? I'm the only business program, so I have no competition."

My response to him was, "Isn't that a disaster?"

Rather than looking at it as "having no competition," you need to look at it as "maybe there aren't going to be any customers who are interested in business activities."

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you're building your career, it is very important to be clear. Be clear not only about who your customers are, but about factors that are occurring in the marketplace. It's not bad to compete in the marketplace because at least customers who are sensitive to the offering that you make will make informed decisions about doing business with you. In the absence of customers who do business with you, it's true that you will have no competition, but you also might have no customers.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit www.joelblock.com or www.growth-logic.com.