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The staircase approach to building a business

Teutonic's grand staricaseLeImage via Wikipedia

Stand at the base of a set of stairs, 10 to 15 steps will do.  Now get ready and leap to the top!  That is what many entrepreneurs attempt to do when starting a business. Unfortunately most do not have the strength or skill to make it on the first leap. 

It is easy to convince yourself that you must have everything done the day you begin. Take the marketing for a new business.  While you may want to have all of your marketing in place before you begin, many of your best marketing ideas will come from the first few customers you serve.  Start with a simple approach of what you offer to the market.  Stick with the problem you solve and the value you provide.

That can be your first step. 

As you gain a couple clients, ask for a testimonial to use in future marketing, perhaps on your website or on your ads.  That is good second step. As you move forward, ask your clients what made them choose you.  Revise your ads and promotional copy to bring in some of the new things your customers told you as an additional step. Next, start to look for other businesses that are complimentary to your business and ask them to work with you in marketing each others businesses through referrals or working together.  Another step. 

Moving step-by-step through your marketing or any other area of your business will allow you to use your your funds more efficiently and stay focused.  It will also keep you from falling down from trying to leap to the top step.

- Mike Colwell

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Mike - I particularly like your example you often share with people who want to address the 1% of the TAM in their original business plan, hoping to hit it with the first 100 customers. You've brought the person down to earth when asking them to check-in with how they intend to get their FIRST customer instead. Or, in this blog's metaphor, get up to step #1!

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