Obviously, an early stage innovative technology business faces substantial growing pains, many of which stem from funding constraints. A prominent type of growing pain is identifying and recruiting an effective management team that can deliver on the promise of a business plan. Curing this pain can be difficult as the result of funding constraints. Simply consider the following typical scenario to understand why: the compensation plan for an inner management circle for this type of business is sparse to non existent. The CEO usually either funds the business or has attracted the required capital to get the business off the ground. The management team usually contributes to the funding with either cash or sweat equity–literally working full time on the business project with little or no compensation. Based on all of the above the human resources available for either a VP of Marketing and/or a VP of Sales may be quite limited, not to mention an individual who can wear both hats.
As we have written elsewhere in this blog and, in fact, quite early on, we are of the mind set that the task of defining a strategic marketing plan for an innovative technology business resides at the very top of the list of priorities for the business. We do not think it is possible to skip the critically important decisions that must be made about competitive markets, products and branding (effectively to find all the answers to Michael Porter’s 5 Forces) and still go to market with a promise of success.
We are hard pressed to find an individual who brings to a business all of the engineering expertise required to launch a product, who also has the capability of making the aforementioned marketing choices for the business. We have worked closely with an individual who did bring the requisite skills and experience to his new business venture to expertly guide his start up through a definition of market strategy and sales planning, but we need to note that this individual had taken two other start ups to public offerings prior to our engagement with him. Further, we need to note that his educational background solidly emphasized business FIRST and engineering second (he had achieved a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Sloan School at MIT). Finally, this individual was an enthusiastic conversationalist who welcomed opportunities to engage with prospects; therefore, he could head up early stage selling efforts for the company.
There are subtle clues as to the limitations of individuals with regards to executing correctly on the responsibility of guiding a business through marketing strategy and sales. As the result of our first hand experience we can reduce time wasted on a wrong choice, or provide a justification for adding a player to a management team. If you head up an innovative technology business and understand the critical importance of framing a successful market strategy while you commence sales, then please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. We welcome contact. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org to further a discussion.
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