How Thirty Minutes of Thinking Helps You Decide if a Promance Will Last
I get ideas for new stuff to sell every day. Some of my “promances” (defined as strong emotional attraction to selling a new product or service) are so appealing that I fall head-over-heels in love. Fueled by get-rich-quick visions, I forget that successful promances only lead to lasting revenue if you put real effort into marketing and selling the new offering.
More times than I want to admit, I have not taken the time (or put in the work) to figure out if my promance is real. I rushed forward, ignored warning signs, and lost time and money. What do you get from bad decisions? You get experience.
Now when I have a get-rich idea for marketing and selling a new product or service, I use my experience and invest 30 minutes in deciding if my beloved money-making scheme is a treasure or a time-suck, using the following framework.
Why would people buy what I want to sell?
Exploring this question points out that all too often, I know why I want to sell something, but I haven’t invested much energy figuring out why customers would buy. If you’re going to make money, you need to dig in and figure out:
- What problem do potential customers want to solve?
- Is this a significant problem – and will they be willing to spend money to solve it?
- How do people solve the problem now?
- Why is your solution better than the current options?
- If people are willing to pay to solve the problem, what do you think they would spend, and why?
Answering the questions is a reality-check. It mutes the noise that comes from well-meaning family, friends, and business associates who oooh and ahhh over your cute, newborn idea, because they care about you, helping you determine if gushing affirmations align with for-real assessments.
How will you find new customers?
With luck, your analysis indicates your budding promance could lead to true love. The next step is figuring out how you will get customers. If you are lucky, potential buyers already lurk in existing accounts. Often this is the case when a new offering is an extension of your current products and services.
To make some promances work, you need an entirely new group of clients to make the cash register ring. When this is the case, give thought to how you will find this new category of buyers, market, and sell to them.
What resources and expertise will you need to succeed?
Time, money, skills. You need all three to go from promance to money-maker. And you will make money faster by identifying all necessary tasks and figuring out who will be responsible for completing them, either internally or externally.
Score (www.score.org) is a non-profit organization and partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. They are dedicated to helping businesses achieve their goals, and their website provides free business and marketing templates to help you determine what resources will be needed to produce, market, and sell your new product or service.
Don’t Fight the Revenue-Making Attraction
Some promances have staying power and make money. When new ideas pop into your head, don’t be afraid of falling in love for a time. Thirty minutes spent thinking through whether your potential product or service has real revenue potential is time well-spent. Even if a current promance doesn’t work out, it widens the opening for other possibilities, because as great American thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”