Some of you have been intrigued by the chapter headings we listed but want to more about the topics we’ll be covering
Overview: we’ll begin with a quick review of ten different ways you can take your product or service to market. We want you to know the options so you can determine which one(s) is the “best” way(s) to get your product or service to your target markets. (We’ll also talk about what constitutes ‘best”!) We’ve developed a framework that should help you make your choices.
Be Honest: After an “overview of the options”, we’re going to ask you some hard questions about how great your idea is. You need to be honest. Is it really innovative and disruptive, truly a break-through idea, or just a quicker, faster way of doing what people are already doing? While it’s definitely possible to build a growth company with a “me too” product, your go-to-market choices and positioning strategies are likely to be different from those you’d choose for a disruptive technology. We’ve developed a set of “honest” questions to ask yourself!
Four Dimensional Chess: Jeff Katz is not the first entrepreneur to say that chess taught him to think strategically about his business. But Jeff believes you need to be able to play four dimensional chess in order to achieve Big Fast Growth! (1) You need to understand the rules of the game, (2) You need to get into the heads of each of your opponents and anticipate their moves, (3) You need to calculate the impact of their moves on each other, and (4) You need to track the externalities that are likely to impact the game. We’ll be introducing a tool that can help you figure out the dimensions of the game for your company.
Ready; Aim; Fire: We joke that one of the hallmark of entrepreneurs is “ready, fire, aim!” But it’s true. Many entrepreneurial CEOs are in such a hurry to “do” that they “fire’ before they have identified their market(s), or channel partners, or organized their staff for action. So we’re going to talk about how to get organized for a market launch, and give you a checklist of things to review before you “fire” so you can increase the odds of hitting the target!
Ties That Bind: If you decide to go-to-market through channel partners, one of the secrets to success is identifying, and then managing your partners. We’ll give you some tips on how to choose a channel, how to manage partnerships, and how to create “ties that bind” and maximize your partner relationships.
Customers’ Success: It’s easy to forget, but the only way any company can be successful is if its customers are successful. It’s not about “pushing” your product or service. It’s about understanding – and helping your customers understand – how your product or service meets a need or gives them a competitive edge. We’ve developed some tools and frameworks that you can use, but we’d welcome any tools you’ve developed that you’d like to share with fellow readers.
Managing the Channel: Channels need to be managed, which means you need to understand what happens upstream and downstream. Pretend you are your customer’s customer (e.g., go on a sales call and go to a store and watch them shop). What do they need to make a decision to purchase your customer’s product or service? And what are the implications for the product or service you are providing your customer? Is your product/service helping your customer sell – or do you need to develop or provide something else to make it more appealing to their customers? If so, what are the implications for your vendors and suppliers? What do they need to provide you in order for you to be more successful? Figuring this out can provide a big competitive advantage, and we have a tool that can help with that, as well.
Right Organization: One of the secrets to growth is understanding how your roles and responsibilities change as your company grows. Another is to understand what impact your go-to-market strategy(ies) will have on who you hire, what you outsource, and how you organize your company for success. We’ll provide some graphics and tools that you can use when organizing your company for BigFastGrowth.
Thought Leadership and Do’s and Don’ts: If your idea is big enough, and if you choose the right go-to-market strategies, you, like Jeff and Mercury Payment Systems, will experience Big Fast Growth. And if you do, we’ll be the first to cheer, because successful growth companies are the key to a healthy economy. In the final chapter, we’ll provide a quick list of do’s, don’ts, and lessons learned when choosing a go-to-market strategy that you can pass on to others. .
Join us next week when we post Chapter 1, Section 1. Help us write this book.