I think this group of entrepreneurs should be applauded for having created product or service solutions that permit them to carve a niche within their respective markets. Providing a solution, and one that rises above the product and service parity evident in today’s marketplace, is what separates those businesses that can create sustainable, profitable growth and those that quickly slide from the growth stage to maturity. New product and service solutions are generated when you can gain insight into the purchasing decision tree of the buyer in question, whether that buyer is making decisions on behalf of a retail entity or is the actual consumer. Not only are you competing for the share of the wallet, but if you are dealing on a business to business level (as Chris & Tal’s Betterfoods are), the retail buyer’s available buying budget.
I think what most entrepreneurs may not realize is that today’s retail buyers face tremendous head office pressure to deliver on a number of key performance indicators (financial measurements), as well as staying abreast of the latest, greatest market initiatives. Operational scorecarding and benchmarking assumes a good deal of meeting time. When they do come across new products or services solutions, they want to be first to market, enjoy exclusive rights, and have you assume some of the risk in doing so. They have become risk averse, only willing to test so many new ideas. So, if you can create product/service solutions that help them deliver their own goals, offer new ideas that allow them to gain an edge on their competitors, then not only will you have their ear, but your number just maybe the first they call when they are looking to spend their buying budget. Having worked on the corporate side before starting my own business advisory firm focused on creating opportunities and value, I learned through trial and error, that value, and how each target customer defines it, is essential when you are trying to move to a selling model based on long-term strategic relationships. When both parties win, growth can be sustainable and profitable. It’s what I promise my customers, and I’m sure what they commit to theirs. If anyone is interested in exploring this further, they can reach me at (416) 525-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org or join my blog at www.busbuzz.wordpress.com.
Cheers, Caroline Kalaydjian