When we set up a new business, generally speaking, everything revolves around the product on offer. Perhaps because we think that it’s a matter of getting this aspect right in order to succeed. As time goes on, however, we realise that we have only really taken the first step and that a good product is not enough to build up a successful business.
Like us, a new project has its own life cycle. Obtaining your long-desired MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is without doubt a fundamental first step and becomes one of the primary concerns in a startup.
However, developing a project requires a longer process of learning. Surrounding yourself with a talented team, systematically acquiring and retaining clients or monitoring the company’s limited resources are increasingly significant factors. Having a good product, developed and ready to sell is only the starting point.
Innovation isn’t in your product, nowadays everything is copied
We often talk about a product’s innovation as one of the differentiating values over our competitors. Quite a complicated task given that it is getting easier every day to spot initiatives similar to our own all over the world.
It can be tough to acknowledge that our product isn’t unique. In some cases, it even seems unfair to say that of those who have invested a huge amount of time, effort and money in their development. There is always some differential in each proposal.
But ultimately, similar ideas are born every day all over the world. No doubt right now there are several people circling the same business idea that you have in mind or that you hope to channel your efforts into establishing.
In many cases, it’s possible that your product won’t be innovative. But I would posit this isn’t actually necessary. On the contrary, it’s an indicator that there is a market for it and that you have the unique opportunity to position your product as an alternative for hundreds of clients.
Because without realising it, you are entering a race to position yourself in the market and get customers, to find a unique way to work and one that characterizes your company. That’s what will make you different. Innovation is no longer in your product, but rather in your business model.
The Opprtunity Window of Innovation is Open
The early bird catches the worm
As we said in an article: “the innovation window is open”. A concept that accurately explains the race confronting entrepreneurs and investors who both want to create successful businesses.
Never before have the cycles of innovation and market development been as diminished as they are now. For this reason, the agility that we have for business development, its replicability and scalability, will mark our positioning and the triumph of our project. Locating channels of client acquisition, defining a relationship model with the recurrences or creating a trade structure - these become your priorities. In short, develop a model of sustainable growth.
So, what does the success of my startup depend on?
Honestly, every day I am more convinced that processes are the key to everything. That’s what we call the business model. Or similarly, identifying a way of working that makes your clients come to you, buy your product and what’s more, repeat this process on a regular basis, despite having other alternatives.
This is, for me, the most important factor for a startup. The processes. Not the product. The elements that will allow your business to be scalable and enable you to grow quickly. Being the first to reach international markets before anyone else so that when your competitors want to enter into them, you are already the reference point: this is also innovation.
For this reason, it is crucial to focus on the business development aspect, sometimes even more than the product. That is to say, identify the client profile that best matches our offering, the channels of client acquisition that work most effectively, and the validation of the value proposition, while also defining an exceptional post-sale service.
In short, a good product, without a business model allowing it to function in a systematic and replicable manner, does not work. However, a product that you don’t consider to be as good as yours may indeed succeed.
More articles about B2B Business Development:
Approaches for a B2B Brand Experience
Doing business abroad, a tough challenge