The Biz-ness #2

31 03 2010

Entering the business……The big one.

You have a passion and love for what you’ll be doing, and strongly believe — based on educated study and investigation — that your product or service would fulfill a real need in the marketplace.

This is really what it is all about isn’t it?  If your product does fulfill a need or for that matter in our industry a desire or feeling than you might have something.   If not,  your going kaput!

The text book answer.   Unless you truly come up with something that is addressing an under served niche in the industry you cannot compete.   Let me pose this question.   Why in the hell would anyone buy a lugged frame for instance from somebody who has made 5 of them?  wait….let me answer that.   They do only if the promise of a low price over-rides there better instincts.

The good news though is that this industry does not quite follow the book.   People buy bicycles or for that matter many other things to elicit an emotional response.  If you can trigger that in someone it is possible to bypass all rational thought and get them to pony up their dollars and purchase from a relative newb.   Thank god for that or very few of us would have been able to get off the ground.   Let’s consider though a hypothetical situation.    You are the best marketer the world has ever seen.   After working for 10 years selling “green” yak pubic hair purses to Tibetans and setting sales records for your N.Y. advertising agency you decide that framebuilding was your true calling.   Even if you are that person you can’t just settle down smack dab between Richard Sachs, Peter Weigle, Zancanato etc and sell red and white lugged bikes and hope to have any chance of making it.     Big companies plan their next moves carefully.  Mickey D’s does not just plop a resturant on every caddy corner to BK and hope they can make it, neither should framebuilders.

So to boil it down.   What will you be selling/producing that will serve a niche that is yet not saturated in our field?  When you do how are you going to trigger an emotional response to your product that will serve to drive the consumer to you and not the competition?

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One response

1 04 2010
Carl S

I’d also add that one of the biggest challenges for new builders is figuring out “who” they are as a builder, identifying what it is they bring to the table and centering their marketing efforts around that quality.

It took me 10 years before I really understood what I was, what I had to offer and how the market viewed me. You would think it’s obvious but without an objective perspective it actually very hard to figure out. Lots of builders struggle their entire career because they think the know but they are wrong.

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