The most important thing when starting a business

Starting a business

Starting a business is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. There are so many factors that can negatively impact your business’ chance of surviving. But spending all your time carefully planning for and addressing every one of those factors is impossible, so you have to focus your energy on the places where it will have the biggest impact. So what is the most important thing when starting a business?

In this video, Cary discusses one of the most important things to keep in mind when starting a business. As someone who helped launch the Hamilton Bulldogs, to then starting his own business in Cosmos Sports & Entertainment, to leading the start up of the Brampton Beast Hockey Club, Cary has seen first hand multiple times how hard it is to start something new.

This video is a clip taken from a keynote Cary gave to a group of students at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The talk was part of the McMaster Sports Industry Conference, a student run event that seeks to build a bridge between the classroom and the sports industry.

It’s a good question. I think, you know, yes you want to start traditional, having a business plan and doing all that background stuff is really good. But I think again, it depends on what the concept is.

I don’t know if there’s any critical paths or steps. I think what I would say is that understanding that the product generally is overrated. So the product or service is just one part of it. How do you sell or market the product?

…Tide’s not the best detergent. Gillette’s not the best shaver. They don’t win tests. They just sell the most.”

Tide’s not the best detergent. Gillette’s not the best shaver. They don’t win tests. They just sell the most. So who’s correct? Is Gillette right or is Wilkinson right? Pabst Blue Ribbon has way better beer than Molson’s; yet Molson’s outsells them 100 to 1. Who’s right?

The reason people buy Gillette is because there’s Roger Federer commercials. Gillette’s 10 times the cost of Bic. If you buy Bic you don’t cut yourself. I don’t come in and I’m bleeding because I used a Bic, but people don’t buy Bic, they buy Gillette. People buy Tide. They buy brands.

It can never be just marketing, it’s marketing and sales.”

So even from day one understanding that having a good product or good idea or good service is probably 10% and people tend to think it’s 90%. And then it’s sales and marketing. And again marketing has to lead to sales. It can never be just marketing, it’s marketing and sales.

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