Why Market Traction Takes Longer Than You Think

“Did you know that Sue ordered JuicePlus from Julia? Out of nowhere, she called and ordered it,” said my wife Kathy about our oldest daughter’s JuicePlus business.

“Really?” I said with surprise. “How long has Julia been selling JuicePlus?”

The Three Year Rule

“Well, Charles (our grandson) just turned three. So I guess it has been a little over three years,” she answered.

“There it is again,” I said.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Over the last 23 years, I have observed it takes three years to get traction in a business. That’s just how long it takes,” I said.

If you are thinking about a business, you have to think in terms of three years.

Shut Up Already!

The first year is the giddy, optimistic, run-on-idealism stage. You have the idea, put together a plan, and then launch. You know you are going to be rich and successful.

Everything you do is marketing. If it is a business-to-consumer model, the first place you go is to family. This works until even your family is sick of hearing about your business and your product. They yell, “Shut up already!”

Then you move to friends, and you exhaust them. Finally, you move to the people who really will make this into a business. The people you don’t know. This is the first big test.

Learning to Problem Solve

Welcome to the second year in building a business. This is the year you must figure out the problem you solve, the product you offer, and the people who are interested.

These are your early adopters. People who are willing to buy from you. Not out of empathy or relationship but out of need. You find them, and you pass this test.

But finding them is hard, hard work. You keep doing the marketing that worked in year one but run out of ideas. You start seeking advice from mentors. You try new techniques based on their suggestions.

A Stranger Knocks

Some work, some don’t. You begin to doubt if you should be doing this at all. The negative thoughts start to dominate your self-talk. And then as you approach the end of the second year, a prospect contacts you and is interested in your product.

Better yet, they may simply show up and order. Not one of your early adopters, but someone you don’t even know. And they get excited and tell someone else.

You passed the year two test, and you have entered year three.

You have been in the market long enough that people now associate you with their need. You begin to take on the identity of the product you sell. In other words, people take you seriously. This is your business. When you get to this stage, they believe you can help them.

Snatching the Gold Ring

Year three is all about clearly identifying your market with your product. You keep doing the marketing you’ve been doing but now must expand. You sharpen your focus on the market you discovered and go deeper. You sharpen your message and your methods in reaching people.

This next stage is a very difficult test. Its reward can be fast growth, but get it wrong, and you will continue to grow as you did in year two. Nice but not exciting.

The goal of year three is to activate the target buyers so they become evangelists for you and your product. Do this, and you have snatched the gold ring.

Power of Belief

I am very proud of my daughter Julia. She has navigated each of these tests in building her JuicePlus business.

I observed her in all these trials. Some ended in elation, but most ended in some lonely and desolate places. She pushed through the negative self-talk, the naysayers telling her to quit, and instead fed off the people who believed. Because these are her market.

Her greatest secret is her belief in the product. She believes it changed her life. She believes she is better physically, mentally, and emotionally because of JuicePlus. And not just her, but also her two boys.

She and the product are one. It is this belief that kept her going, that keeps her going. I have no doubt she will be a great success and change people’s lives for the better in the process.

Connect with Julia. She’ll tell you the story of the three year test she went through to build her business and the challenges she is facing right now. And you can be sure, she’ll also talk to you about JuicePlus and how it can change your life.

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4 thoughts on “Why Market Traction Takes Longer Than You Think

  1. Charlie,

    I know this…that it takes three years to root a ministry in a church and to get buy-in from the Innovators, Early-Mid-Late Adopters knowing that you will never get buy-in for the laggards. Interesting parallel…

    Dr J

  2. Charlie,
    I just read several of your blog posts for the first time. Enjoyed them greatly. Insightful and interesting.

    • Not sure how you find me but…Welcome. Thanks for taking the time to write your encouragement. I look forward to you engaging our communities with your comments on future blogs. charliep