Your business runs on two wheels: Product and Distribution. The product is what you sell, and distribution is everything you do to be able to sell it.
The product could be a physical product, a service you offer, a consultation, or anything else that your customer is willing to pay. Distribution could be sales, marketing, networking, or anything else that gives the customers an opportunity to know about your product.
A great product would be worthless without a focused effort to distribute it. A great distribution plan means less than nothing if the product sucks.
As a small business owner, you need to find time to work on both aspects of your business. You can’t afford to ignore either of them.
To succeed, you will HAVE to do both no matter what. If you’re a singer, you have to practice daily. But, you also have to spend time marketing or networking daily.
If you become so obsessed with becoming a great singer that you can’t find any time to talk to people who will pay for your performance, singing will become a hobby. No one will come and offer you work – you’ll have to create the opportunities yourself.
Alternatively, if you spend all your time talking to event organizers and music directors, you may get a few contracts but that fame will be short-lived since you won’t be very good at singing (because you haven’t practiced enough).
The idea is very simple yet very complex. If you come from a training background and you’re used to building the product (training program), you will believe the product is the most important thing. If you come from a sales/marketing background, you believe that anything can be sold and the skill to distribute is more important.
You want to spend your time on what you value most, but that’s not how the world works. As a small or early-stage business owner or freelancer, get those ideas out of your head. Spend equal time on both aspects. Yes. EQUAL TIME. And EVERY DAY.
What percentage of time do you spend on each other aspects today? What’s your plan to change that to a more equal division?