3 Common Mistakes SMEs Make When Setting Up Their Market Access Team
Many SMEs make mistakes in setting up their market access teams. A simple online search shows technology as the new focus for businesses across most industries. This is especially noticeable in the high demand for integrating tech into the operations and products of small businesses.
We are bombarded daily with media and PR articles on the importance of having a developer or technical lead as a part of your team. While this is important, the unspoken truth is that no matter how great your product is, without access to the right customers or a clear communication of its value. It is unlikely to gain significant market share.
This means that from the early stages of product and services development, there is an urgent need to bring in “market access masterminds” as a key part of your business. These are persons with a keen knowledge of business development, communications, marketing and sales. They are responsible for planning strategies and exploring channels to reach the right customers.
The lifeblood of any business is money. Money is generated from customers who see the product, understand its unique value to them, and are willing to pay for its value. According to Business Insider, about 42% of small businesses fail due to poor access to the market. This means that your product’s lifeline depends primarily on its market demand.
The earlier your business aligns its internal objective with external customers’ demands, the higher your odds for success will be. This ideal condition can only be achieved by setting up the right team to drive market penetration for your products and services. In setting up the ideal team, SMEs are inclined towards making one or two of the following mistakes:
1. Hiring an agency
We understand most agencies are designed to be an effective unit. They are a collection of individuals with complementary skills, which can effectively rake in customers for your business when pointed in the right direction.
Agencies work great for larger organizations because they already have an understanding of what works for them. While the obvious challenge for an SME is that they are still in the process of discovery. This may raise your expenses as you end up having to pay the agency for each iteration which may or may not achieve your desired results.
2. Hiring below the line
Every business likes to have the best hands-on the job, but the financial constraint of your small business is definitely something that can not be ignored. Nonetheless, what nobody tells you about employing under-skilled hands is that you are now sacrificing time in addition to wasting other valuable resources.
In the game of customer acquisition, you need to find what works in the shortest amount of time to get an edge in the market. For a business in its discovery phase, this means employing a highly dynamic approach to the market. It requires an existing knowledge base and substantial experiences.
3. Hiring through a recruitment agency
While this is not a complete miss, there are often some core characteristics to look for in prospective teammates beyond their certifications and experiences. Your preferred set of characteristics are unique to you. And they help you to ensure that prospective teammates have the tenacity to overcome the hurdles of changing market forces which your new business will inadvertently face. These characteristics may include a sense of resilience, creativity, empathy, spontaneity, skills, and diversity, among others.
For example, a self-taught creative who has managed a successful freelance career is very likely to have developed great entrepreneurial skills, soft skills, financial management skills, etc. These are relevant skills to achieve success in an early stage business. But a recruitment agency is less likely to refer him to join your team because he doesn’t have a certification to show.
They are also more likely to refer to you well-certified applicants who might not have significant market experience. The recruitment agency’s approach to talent discovery is mostly focused on documented education and previous roles. This might make you miss out on ideal candidates, and lead to a high churn rate of teammates over an extended period of time.
The obvious question then becomes “ In avoiding these mistakes, how do you set up your team?”. In this follow-up article, we described effective strategies SMEs can explore recruiting a high-performance team with the right motivation towards your business aims and objective.