** Originally published on www.theentrepreneurnotes.com **
When it comes to business, I have found that a lot of Entrepreneurs are just not into Sales and Marketing, they are into their technique, into their craft, into other things they know how to do and do well, but when you mention Sales and Marketing, they simply can handle it.
On a business Sales and Marketing are the key of sucess, I knew I want my own business since I was 16, I continue in the search of the perfect combination, since I also know it is a combination of things what i want more than one specific thing.
On my first try, I ignore Sales and Marketing, on my second try I ignore Sales and Marketing and I failed on both adventures, we make some money, but the business eventually died. On my third try, I understood Sales, but ignore Marketing, and guess what, we failed. I was twenty five when I went to school to get an MBA and learn about marketing and business, trust me I learned a lot, but I found nothing on sales. I had marketing 401, 402, business 401 and 402 but no sales. I then start to look for sales, why do you skip sales, it is not sales important?
Since the answer did not came to me in school, by then I had a degree and a MBA, was time to look for the answer in a different way, doing what I love to do, read. My next job out of college was on Sales, I need it to learn.
Time has passed since then, and yes, I have learn about sales, and discover that there is more to learn, that this subject is infinite, and incredible important, you can control expenses, you can control production cost, you can control marketing expenses, but if you make no sales, all the machinery will simply collapse.
What it is interesting for me is the amount of small and medium size business that ignore Sales and Marketing, as they are something bad, people love getting the purchase orders or POs, but are in many many cases not willing to learn how to get them, they are the technicians, the crafters, I create, I design, I develop, I am not a Sales person, (as if we Sales Person stink somehow, and I promise you we don’t); and in many cases inevitably they simply fail, they set themselves for failure and ask themselves why if they work so hard they can not achieve success, why they can’t thrive on success, they are great technicians, crafters, creators, designers, they work hard to accomplish and produce a service or product, but they are no sales person, therefore their creation, service or product simply just stays there, people you have just create a Hobby. A business that produce no sales is a hobby, a business that produce no sales to survive is a hobby, a business that after sometime can’t stand on his own is a hobby.
When Nicholas Negroponte (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Negroponte) begin his $100 PC for children initiative, he had the contacts, he had the money, access to the technology, in other words everything to succeed, and he failed, he had everything to produce the product, to create it, to developed, but he could not make the sale, he was forced to look for external help, to look for a sales and marketing team, that was able to market, sale and distribute the product, after that, even that it has not reach the sales levels Negroponte was expecting, the story was showing some success, but a lot of time was wasted. He move from a hobby to realize a dream, but was not until the inclusion of the sales and marketing team that the adventure change from a hobby to a business.
Assuming you are looking to make your hobby into a business, you need to get into sales, there are plenty of sales resources, they are many places to learn, stick with us and you may learn a trick or two.
It is irrelevant how great technician, crafter, creator, designer, musician, writer, coach you are, if you are not into sales, if you are not marketing and selling your product you are not going to realize your dream.
Lets reel back and put you a live example; this blog. Today (at the time of the original publishing of this article) this is a Hobby. We produce no money, we produce no income (and some expenses), I am a writer, we are entrepreneurs, and this will be an enterprise someday, but today, is not, it is a hobby, do not matter that we have insurance, LLC behind us, an office, a fax machine, 2 computers, and a network printer, we are into a hobby, because we are not making money, because we are not selling the product or service yet.
In the near future, we will be putting for sale the first product of this enterprise, and we will marketing and selling this product like crazy, you will hear about it, you will read about it, you will see reviews made from other people, even though the creation of the product or service is going to be made by a combination of the writer, the technician and the crafter, that final product will be sold by the salesman, and a soon as that happened we will move from Hobby to Business.
Are you a Salesman on your business? Do you have a business or a hobby? Are you willing to kill your hobby and get real with yourself and evolve to a business, or you are not a Salesman and can afford to keep your hobby alive?