Ask 100 experts about the secret to business success, and you may get 100 different answers. Is it hard work? Dedication? Integrity? I’d say it’s all three, but that’s not all. For every long day business owners put in, there’s still one more thing that can help entrepreneurs realize success: great market timing.
Understanding what matters when it comes to market timing and improving your entrepreneurial timing isn’t the easiest trick to master. After all, if it were easy, everyone would be successful. But there are steps you can take to help you capitalize on important opportunities.
1. Be ready.
Whether you’re contemplating a new product launch or simply want to be poised to pounce on any opportunity that comes your way, being prepared is important. Demonstrating that you’re enthusiastic and ready to roll up your sleeves can help you win new clients on the spot.
Being prepared with research and having a plan to scale up when you’re ready to launch a new venture may help you avoid missing the upswing of a trend. It may help to think of yourself as an army of one: Always vigilant and ready to spring into action.
2. Don’t obsess about being first.
While being first can be an advantage, it isn’t always the case. Sometimes being second to market in a new category can give you the advantage of a growing audience. It may also help you avoid the pitfalls the first guy discovered. Refining and polishing as you come into the market second may give you the chance to be the better provider.
3. Make some noise.
In Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, he wrote, “The good warrior’s staging of an attack is like the bending of the crossbow full of momentum and potential.”
When you’re trying to time your entry into a new category, you can’t simply throw your product or service out into the ether and expect it to develop a following. The momentum and potential you create ahead of your launch can help carry your venture to success and improve your market timing. It also helps to take the time necessary to build up existing customers’ expectations. Learn about how your new product may bring in entirely new customers and get to know a little about them. If you sit back and wait for customers to come to you, you may be disappointed.
4. Do your homework.
Sun Tzu continues, writing, “When he releases the trigger, the arrow flies with a precise calculation combining distance, timing and target. Not too early, not too late.” Sun Tzu’s warrior isn’t sending off a hail Mary arrow. Rather, he has used his intellect and experience to plot a course for the greatest success. When you prepare, you may be far more likely to hit your target and to recognize just the right moment to time your release.
5. Keep a big-picture perspective.
Market timing can present two huge challenges: knowing when to enter the market and knowing when to exit. If you keep your eye on your bottom line, it can help guide your decisions in a way that’s based on dollars and cents, rather than emotion. Keeping profitability in mind can help you know when to get out of a market.
Timing is important, and figuring out market timing can be tricky, there's no doubt about it. But if you’re savvy (and a little lucky) you may be able to successfully navigate your company through the difficult waters of entering and exiting a new market.
If you’re poised to act, armed with good research and great products, then having the right market timing can help you capitalize on your opportunities.
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