I read about a business analogy recently, where Gary Halbert posed the question,
"If you and I were to set up rival burger vans, but you get to choose the competitive edge that you'd have over me, which would you pick?"
For 30 seconds consider your answer. Would you pick a bigger van (easier to spot), better meat (appeal to the more upmarket burger crowd), or cheaper prices (mass appeal)?
Gary's answer was that he'd pick a hungrier crowd.
I think what's most thought-provoking about his response is that its the critical mistake many small businesses make, and one that I've written about before. We focus too much on our offering, and not enough on what the crowd want.
We may pour our heart and soul into creating the very best quality cat toys, or the most unique bridal shower accessories, but if the crowd aren't hungry for what we're selling, it simply doesn't matter. We can try and create a demand via marketing, but we can't make that goddamned horse drink if he's not even thirsty.