As an entrepreneur with a start-up, you have to wear multiple hats: technology and product development on the one hand, marketing and sales on the other (and don’t forget tax and book keeping!).
Many start-ups have a strong focus on the development of a technology. And this makes absolute sense. Without a product you got nothing to offer.
However, with time the focus has to also include marketing and sales. Questions like “What will I offer to whom at what price?” have to be answered before approaching the market.
Many will think we are stating the obvious. But we have encountered simply too many start-ups that think that once the development work is done, customers will come by themselves and produce a flood of orders. Unfortunately, this happens very rarely.
Most of the time, a lot of sweat will be required to position a product in the market – no matter how brilliant it is. And many times, at the end of the technical product development, all the initial funds have been used up and nothing is left for professional marketing and sales.
Therefore it is a good idea to set some business development funding aside right from the start, keeping in mind that the first sales cycles will be very long and require quite some financial endurance on the part of the start-up. Very often more than the technician in you might expect!