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A Big Blunder Potentially Averted

A fellow member, a client, and a friend has come dangerously close to making a big time strategic error. Thankfully, he is a client and we caught it before it cost him.

My friend, you know who you are, please understand I am using your story for the purpose of science and the good of others. Don't be angry!

This person has been considering buying a franchise and opening in a high end neighborhood in Orlando.

Being the smart guy he is, he had an in depth conversation with the CEO of the company. He gleaned a lot of good information from him - mostly about targeting.

Now, we've been petitioning this client to do some surveying in the neighborhood he's considering operating in, but he hasn't done it yet. We're all a little stubborn.

So today, he shared this list of "target characteristics" with us.

We hit the breaks immediately. This list didn't seem to be a match with what we knew of the people in that neighborhood. (But that is an assumption, which is why he needs to survey). But if we're right, he would end up with a market/message mismatch, and ultimately a closed business. No bueno, as they say.

As soon as we mentioned this to him, he saw it too. Almost like the first time you see a 3D hologram popping out of a poster.

So what's they point? I'm not just trying to jeer, rouse, or tease him. And my point is actually bigger than just "Analyze your market to ensure a match."

My biggest point has to do with the power of collaborative thinking. You can't operate in a vacuum. You must share your ideas with people. You see your product through others' eyes.

Using the idea exchange is one way to do this - although none of you seem to be doing that, which has caused us to consider removing it, tsk, tsk . Another way is to higher a consultant. A free way is to form a mastermind group of other entrepreneurs who meet monthly to discuss items like these - with the intent of looking for opportunities or weaknesses.

Big caution: You don't necessarily have to listen to other people. In fact, if you engage in proper direct marketing, you will be criticized for your ads and long copy. Most people don't know anything about this stuff. So you really have to filter through the information you get looking for nuggets of truth that can save your tail.