SONY DSCThere’s one key to a successful business.

We worry about a lot of things, and things get complicated.  Employees, partners, marketing, product development, it goes on and on.

But there’s exactly one thing for you to succeed.  Without it, everything falls apart.

But of course you know what I’m talking about:  Delivering something that customers need.

Without that, nothing else in the business matters.

When you’re starting out, it’s easy to buy into your own hype and bravado.  You have a wonderful idea, a great approach, you’re such a fantastic person.  Who wouldn’t want it?  Certainly all your friends are supporting you.

Because they like you.

That’s fine, we all need supporters.  But don’t mistake them for customers.

A customer is somebody who wants your product or service so much that they’re willing to pay for it.  That’s it.  If they’re not willing to give you something in return, then you haven’t really given them true value.

Then, of course, you have to deliver it and all that.  Now we’re into regular business concerns.  But without a true customer, your business will remain locked.