One of the things that I have learned during my time at RevBuilders is that, for the most part, a poor product will never be leveraged into a successful business. I do believe that there are certain outliers, where savvy advertising and marketing created temporary successes, but these are almost all things that, after they fail, are regarded as “weird fads” of the decade in which they were launched. The pet rock comes to mind as a quintessential example of this. However, except for these exceptional cases, it can fairly safely be assumed that a product must be good if it is to succeed on the general marketplace.
This, I think, can cause some business owners to hesitate to market their business, out of fear that they do not have what the general marketplace will believe to be a “good product.” They are worried that any attempts to market will quickly reveal that the product doesn’t stack up to similar products in their industry, and they will lose business from the endeavor rather than gain it. Marketing, after all, can only present the virtues of a business in their best possible light; misrepresenting a product can get a company sued.
To this concern, I would ask whether the business owner is consciously operating a scam operation. There’s a good chance the answer to this is no. Assuming that, then marketing is the best thing for the business, even if it causes the business to lose all of its customers? Why? Well, for one, marketing gives the business its opportunity to shine for its customers, and so if things aren’t up to par, there will be an opportunity for the business to step up its game in order to accommodate the new influx of customers. Customers won’t disappear overnight, in other words.
Secondly, marketing a business is the only way to get enough data to measure your business’s strength. If marketing doesn’t cause your business to gain new clientele, there is a fairly good chance that the business should be allowed to fail, unless you are comfortable with your current profits, as you come out of a successful marketing campaign with a more accurate valuation of your company than when you went into it. I’d say this is truer for small businesses than large businesses, since smaller businesses tend to gain more from successful marketing, while larger businesses market to maintain their market share, not to grow it.
So, market your business every way you can, and your business will tell you what it’s worth. Then you can decide whether or not it’s worth your time. Failing fast means wasting less time on a doomed venture.