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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Crossing Over to Success

Strategies Unlimited
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By Kristin Lewotsky

These days, success in business is all about growth. Certainly, if you're established in a mature market you can expect incremental growth, but the way to really see revenue jump is to cross over to a new market. It sounds simple in the abstract if you build it, they will come, right?

Not necessarily.

All too often, companies get ready to dive into a new market based on a single phone inquiry from an interested party, who may or may not ever develop into a customer. Or they'll get seduced by impressive market numbers just a crumb of a multibillion dollar pie, the thinking goes, will generate a hefty profit. Of course, if the entire market is already subscribed by entrenched suppliers, even crumbs may be difficult to come by.

Studying the opportunity thoroughly, bringing a technology edge as part of your package, and building the right sales channels are all keys to successfully crossing over.

The Lay Of The Land

It's no accident that reconnaissance has always played a key role in battlefield success. The business battlefield is no different. Knowing the market size and shape; identifying the competition, knowing their size, market share, capabilities, and resources; and thoroughly understanding your own resources and value proposition are key tasks to complete before committing any resources to a course of action. Just as you wouldn't rush onto a battlefield without getting as much information as possible, you shouldn't jump to enter a market on the basis of a single inquiry or even a dozen.

"There's an old adage, it's always easier to get more business from an existing market or application than a new one because there's competition in that market and they're going to protect their turf," said David Klein, principal consultant at TekMark Growth Partners Ltd. (Hudson, Ohio). He advises that companies look hard before they leap. "There is no sense in going after an application or a market where all [you] would do is get into a price war over a device."

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