Business plans have no place for assumption. But people get into business with one assumption after another every day. The Internet is a hotbed for exactly this sort of business-killing shenanigan. Because it can be so simple and cost effective for an entrepreneur to get things up and going online, people tend to assume every step of the business process will be just that simple and problem-free. That’s rarely how it works out.
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, reveals three common assumptions that will destroy your business before you ever get a chance to taste success.
#1 – Assuming your product has inherent “betterness”
No one enters the market believing their product or service is the worst out there. In fact most believe what they are offering is the best thing since sliced pizza. Here’s the thing…your customers may not believe that right off the bat. In fact, your customers may not see how or why your product or service is better than what’s already out there at all. Likely they already have a favorite product in that industry and may not even care to listen to why yours is better. This is why Ronn Torossian says your NUMBER ONE public relations job should be to define the superiority of your product or service to what’s already out there. The conversation need not be combative, but it must be specific.
#2 – Assuming your customers understand
Torossian says this assumption can be an offshoot of the first erroneous assumption. Your customers may have no idea what you are trying to say or exactly how your products or services are any different than what’s already out there. If your public relations and marketing campaigns do not approach your intended market base in an understandable way, you will likely lose them forever. Jargon, acronyms, designations and code that might be common in your industry could very well fly right past your customers without ever catching their attention. Believe me when I tell you the average consumer has no interest in trying to decipher your gobbledegook. Get it right the first time and for the love of all that’s good and holy, KEEP IT SIMPLE!
#3 – Assuming your customers care
Okay, this is going to be a tough one for you to swallow. But hitch up your britches, big boy and get ready for some tough love. Until you make them care, your customers – actually, prospects – could not care less what you have to offer. They don’t know and, in their world, ignorance of you and your product line is utter and complete bliss. You have to make them care. Make them know what you have and why they need it. Too many advertising and public relations campaigns focus on the features and benefits of a product or service the customer has never heard of and simply has no time to care about. So, don’t assume your customers or prospects care about what you have to offer. MAKE them care by making your product or service an integral part of their daily routine.
No matter what you do next in your marketing campaign, take the time you need to stop, assess and eliminate all the assumptions in your business plan and public relations campaign.