I recently attended a Texas Rangers’ baseball game. We sat in the upper deck. And, as the sixth inning came to a close some folks in the section next to us decided to start “the wave.” Their first attempt was pretty feeble, with about 20 people lifting their hands. Undeterred, the organizers made a second attempt, this time fans from three sections participated, many from the organizer’s section, a bit less from the second section participating, and just a handful from the third. On their third attempt, the organizers’ efforts paid off – there were participants in the wave half-way across the stadium. By the sixth attempt, the entire upper deck was in and the wave made it around the top of the stadium, and gained a few lower deck participants. The next time through, the seventh, the wave became THE WAVE–a majority of fans in all decks participated. Success!
Approach your start up in the same way that the organizer’s approached starting the wave. First tap into those closest to you (friends, family, mentors, advisers, business network, etc.) to get your basic plan in place. Always remember that you’re your firm’s best advocate, it is your job to engage your partners and customers and to continually raise their enthusiasm about your company, products, and services.
As your strategy evolves–tap into your initial success. Talk to your early customers, find out what they like and more importantly, what you can improve. Think of this as the upper deck crowd in and around the organizer’s section, they have something in common that you can leverage and use to refine your approach, product, service, etc. and build the enthusiasm necessary to get your sales rolling.
As with the wave, it will take repeated efforts to make your offer stick and to build resonance and relevance in your target market. But every effort that you put forth should result in incremental growth. And, at some point your efforts will pay off, and like the adoption of the wave by the upper deck crowd, you’ll pass the tipping point and achieve success in your target market.
Don’t stop there though, as the organizers leveraged the upper deck’s enthusiasm to engage the entire stadium, you can leverage the success gained in your target market to engage and expand your market place. Simple concepts, but they’ll help lead you to success!