Most business owners, musicians, and entrepreneurs can’t wait to make a million dollars and the benefits that status brings. On this march I call it to a million dollars there seems to be one popular method spreading around and that is to make a dollar in profit from each of a million people. Or a penny from a hundred million. I call this the “China strategy” and it almost never succeeds.
It almost never succeeds because of the enormous challenge of reaching that many people. It’s just too risky and too expensive. Doesn’t matter that you’re only hoping for a dollar or a penny. Now the challenge isn’t the price, it’s the complexity in spreading your idea.
Remember if you can spread an idea, it will grow and if it grows you win.
Now what is more achievable and far easier to make is a thousand dollars from each of a thousand people, or even $5,000 from a hundred organizations. If you can focus on a tribe, “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.”, then this strategic focus will allow you to push through a smaller dip and reach a level of word-of-mouth-marketing that makes incremental sales far easier.
The other great advantage is the learning is much earlier in the process, determining if you’ve gotten it right or not is very easy to measure. Because you’re making more per sale, you can spend the time necessary to figure out what really sells and modify your offering sooner in the process.
The irony is that many products and services that have reached huge masses of people actually have significant margins (for example Autodesk). They have the best of both worlds because first they focused on winning small firms over and that led to the larger market.