Creating or Feeding: Your Business Strategy

Image of Creating SignEarlier this week we looked for inspiration in the self driving car and the deep rooted “why” that drives you and your business.

We also touched base on a company that provides rhinestones and accessories for Crocs (the ugly clog shoes with holes in them).

You shared your thoughts in the comments about building a feeder business that hangs on the broad shoulders of an established business or product.

Many of you seem to prefer creating your own products and services. You want to establish a name for yourselves without reliance on or association with a big name corporation (or trendy product).

These are choices for you to make and there’s no right or wrong decision. They’re just your chosen business strategies.

Business opportunity knocks

When I step back and look at all the business opportunity it’s overwhelming. There will always be the “next big thing” released into the market.

How will you react to the next big thing? How will I?

Will you compete with it, accessorize it, or be a trail blazer creating your own unique offering instead? Whatever you choose just stand by your business ideas until you see some reward or sure signs to exit.

In an era where new becomes old in a matter of weeks, it’s easy to become distracted. Fight the distraction. The market needs you to pick your strategy and run at the opportunities.

Your business strategy

Creating your own products or services rewards you with all the glory for your accomplishments. It also involves the most work.

Feeding off an existing product ecosystem reduces some of the market research and worries of viability. But you’ll find yourself at the mercy of the health of the ecosystem you’ve plugged into.

Regardless of your strategy, offer value first and put your own special and unique twist on your offering. Your target audience awaits.

Photo: ganesha_isis

33 Responses to Creating or Feeding: Your Business Strategy
  1. Adrienne
    April 8, 2011 | 10:24 am

    Hey Jon,

    The next big thing! There’s always going to be a next big thing. I get frustrated at times with all the new stuff that is constantly thrown in my face. Like how can we keep up with everything!

    I believe we have to stay true to ourselves, move in the direction that we are passionate about but at the same time, understand that there is a lot of competition out there and always will be. We just have to find our own place in all of this.

    Whichever direction we chose to go, stay true to ourself. Those are words we all need to live by.

    Thanks for this and hope today is treating you well.


    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:26 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      You aren’t alone in being a bit overwhelmed. There is so much great new content and tools under development that it’s easy to get caught up in the learning phase.

      Staying true to ourselves gets easier once we identify with who/what we are. Then sticking to our guns and infusing our passion into our endeavors will take us the rest of the way. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Janet @ The Natural Networker
    April 9, 2011 | 12:40 am

    Jon, aloha. Personally, I like the feeling of being in control and creating my own business with either products or service.

    Jon, to me it is important to believe in what you are doing. Even if it is not your own company, I believe you must feel good about the company, product or service that you represent.

    You are so right, Jon, whatever it is you do, give value.

    Jon, thx so much for this next step of the journey. Your posts make it so much easier for people to be aware of and evaluate options.

    Best wishes for a terrific weekend. Aloha. Janet

    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:30 pm

      Janet, aloha.

      Some folks don’t require any value-based, ethical or moral connection to what they represent in business or in their jobs. That’s fine, I’m not here to convince them of otherwise. But I’m with you that the company, product or service needs to align with me. I need to feel comfortable standing behind my offering.

      Thank you for the kind words, take care and enjoy your Sunday.

  3. Peter Joseph
    April 9, 2011 | 5:10 am

    I think if you can manage to find that value then you’ll be in a good situation and that involves not just doing something because it looks profitable but is nothing original.Find your own unique quality that will add value to people’s experience. For example, facebook is just another social network, but it did things completely differently to other social networks like my space.

    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:33 pm


      Great to see you here – I need to visit IdeasBubble again soon!

      You’re right on, whatever we do we should aim to add our own unique quality to it that will then add value to the consumer. Setting out to do something simply because we think it looks profitable? We’ve either tried that and failed ourselves or seen plenty others crash and burn taking the same approach.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Danny @ Firepole Marketing
    April 9, 2011 | 12:30 pm

    Hey Jon, I don’t just believe that there always will be a next big thing, I believe it’s up to us to create the next big thing! :D

    Of course, creating the next big thing takes a lot of hard work, which nobody is able to put in without the passion and drive that Adrienne and Janet alluded to in their comments – so you absolutely have to care about and believe in what you’re doing.

    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:37 pm


      Ah..I like it – we should challenge ourselves to create the next big thing. This is a good mindset to have but you’re right it does require some savvy and a willingness to commit to effort (and accepting sacrifices). I know you care and it shows; you spent a couple thousand hours developing your marketing course!

  5. Emmanuel Olonade
    April 9, 2011 | 1:27 pm

    Hey Jon,
    A lot of us prefer creating new wheels instead of just remodelling an existing one. We love independence quite all right but sometimes the cost is often too overwhelming.

    Bottomline: Sometimes it might be good to just ride an existing wave instead of creating a new one ourselves.

    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:41 pm


      This is a great look at the “other” side. Yes, for those of us who don’t want to task ourselves with creating there’s nothing wrong with feeding. It always amazes me how different people can be in business approach. Some enjoy creating a little feeder business, building it up to a point, then selling it off. Then they start from scratch and do it again in the same or even a different industry.

      Others rather put all their effort into one or two original ideas/projects and take them as far as they can go. To each their own. Thank you for your point of view.

  6. Diana Simon
    April 9, 2011 | 5:17 pm

    Hi Jon, I like that reminder to offer value first. I think when you do, there’s less hard selling and your potential clients will be the ones contacting you. I am really not focused on the next big time, just something that will support my clients in moving towards their dreams and making their life better.

    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:43 pm


      Precisely right. There will be less hard selling if you lead with value and relationship-building. It’s the foundation of inbound marketing. Sounds like you have your focus and goals in place, Diana. Best wishes to you and your clients!

  7. Jane | Find All Answers
    April 9, 2011 | 8:59 pm

    Hi Jon,

    I had earlier commented on your previous post about feeder business that I would prefer creating my own product because I would like to me my boss and I would like to have full control.

    But you make a nice point here; “whatever you do, give value”. That says it all. So as long as I am sure that the product I am “feeding” is worth, provides value and will be of use to my target audience, I can go feeding it.

    Well, it’s all about value in the end.


    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:45 pm


      Yes, value is the key. Having full knowledge of the product and control over it as its creator certainly has its advantages. If it all starts with you and you don’t have to rely on the longevity of another brand or company; I’d say that’s my preferred route as well.

      See you at Find All Answers later today!

  8. Tisha
    April 10, 2011 | 2:20 am

    Hi Jon,

    You gave me a lot to think about in this post, which is good because this is the next step for me to take in my business.

    I believe creating my own product represents who I am and my business. All I need to do is except that challenge to do my best at making a product that will be useful to my audience. But first I have to find my creative thinking hat and get to work..:-)

    This is very good, thanks.

    I wish you many blessing for the new week.


    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 3:52 pm


      I’m glad you’re at that threshold with your audience. It’s an exciting, albeit stressful, time when you are ready to create a paid product. Best wishes to you and do your due diligence with market research :)

  9. Stacy | Grow With Stacy
    April 10, 2011 | 5:32 pm

    Hi Jon,
    You’ve given me a lot to think about, I’m currently working on my first paid product. My plan is to over deliver and see how it goes. From there I will decide what direction I want to go. I like your example of the croc accessories, piggybacking off a successful product.


    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 10:31 pm


      What an exciting time for you! Over-delivering is the way to go and I’m sure you’ll pour a lot of effort into it. You do it already in your free content so I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for your new release (I should swing over soon).

      Our readers are so great at giving feedback; if you’re unsure for a moment about the direction afterward then your audience will help clue you in. Though our target audience’s feedback is ideal, I’d take the feedback from some of my peers and fellow business owners over nothing!

  10. Josh Garcia
    April 10, 2011 | 10:30 pm

    Hey Jon,

    The beauty about making money online is that you don’t have to create a product. There are so many great products that are already available to make money from.

    Of course, if you have a product that people need to make their job easier… Create it!

    With so many tools that are available today to sell a product online it is not difficult to make money. The only issue someone will come across is selecting the product to sell.


    Have a great day…

    • Jon
      April 10, 2011 | 10:39 pm

      Hi Josh,

      Quite right. There are many products you can start earning from with virtually zero originality on your part. Ah…the convenience of the internet. You bring up finding the right product to sell. I know there are market demands, commission structure, quality and support, and personal preference that play a part int his decision making process. It isn’t hard but it still takes some work, agree?

      Test…oh yes, test. Very important and yes it’s more hard work. But if this was all simple would it still be so much fun? ;)

      Great input, Josh, thank you.

  11. Jayne
    April 11, 2011 | 12:48 am

    HI Jon, you are so right about there being a medley of opportunities out there.

    I believe wholeheartedly there is no wrong choice either as to how people begin. I have a ‘feeder’ business that helped me tremendously get started and while I am very pleased with it, I am using it as a platform to eventually create my own product in the same genre.

    I agree to a great extent with what Danny says. We have to freedom to create the next big thing.

    With that in mind, we should all be driven to dig deep within ourselves to make it happen!

    Wonderful Post!


    • Jon
      April 12, 2011 | 9:41 pm

      Hey Jayne,

      Sooo much opportunity out there! Danny is a smart guy; yes we do have the freedom and power to create the next big thing. Unfortunately, some folks get swept up in that home run idea that anything less isn’t worth pursuing for them. It’s too bad because there’s no shame in starting small to learn the ropes.

  12. Jk Allen
    April 11, 2011 | 12:48 am

    Awe man Jon – sorry for my tardiness here.

    I actually left you a nice comment for this post…but I obviously didn’t submit it. I read this and commented while I was on a boring conference call on Friday. At some point I think I got pulled in which took me away. And then I think I closed the browser. I didn’t think about it at all, but I came back a few min ago to read through your comments and realized…No comment from me.

    Anyhow, it’s late so I’m going to keep it short and sweet. My last comment was focussed solely around the last point you shared in this article: “Regardless of your strategy, offer value first and put your own special and unique twist on your offering. “
    I believe that this should always be the focus. Value. Profits are a direct result of providing value.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    • Jon
      April 12, 2011 | 9:43 pm


      Your comments are always a treat whenever you’re ready to post, my man. Profits are a direct result of providing value: yes! They are your reward for earning trust and over-delivering. That’s how I see it.

      It was a great weekend – I hope yours was pleasant as well.

  13. Gregory McGuire
    April 11, 2011 | 7:03 am

    Hi Jon,

    I like what you say about offering “value first.”

    I believe that if we focus on just that, our success in anything is inevitable. If you look at any successful person, you’ll find they achieved success because they provided value in some way.

    This is true, whether you’re talking about Bill Gates or Albert Einstein.

    It’s really not about us; it’s about our market.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


    • Jon
      April 12, 2011 | 9:45 pm

      Hey Gregory,

      You nailed it: it’s about our market. It’s about our audience or that one special highly-qualified client. We have to offer them value and being likeable won’t hurt either :) Thanks for your input.

  14. Jym Tarrant
    April 12, 2011 | 1:59 am

    Good stuff Jon.

    It’s interesting to look at the benefits of going down either road – creating your own stand-alone product or piggy-backing off an existing brand.

    You’re right in saying at the end of the day there simply is no right or wrong, it depends on what is right for you, where your inspiration and skills lie.

    The key advantages to creating your own product (if you have the time and resources to do so) are higher profit margin and better self-branding, and it’s important not to underestimate the power of good self-branding!

    Like the other commentators I love your last point – ‘Offer Value first’.

    Thanks and all the best,

    • Jon
      April 12, 2011 | 9:48 pm

      Thanks, Jym.

      Right, it comes down to what aligns best with you as the service provider or product vendor. Maybe piggy-backing is just fine for you. But I agree with you on creating your own product; there are great rewards such as the ones you mentioned and feelings of achievement thrown in there for good measure. See you around, Jym.

  15. Oliver Tausend
    April 12, 2011 | 2:51 am

    Hi Jonathan,

    I like the breakdown of the differences of these two strategies. Of course, the ego wants the glory of an own brand name on our own product, but it says nothing about the economic success and the value we create for others.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care


    • Jon
      April 12, 2011 | 9:49 pm

      Thank you, Oliver.

      Yep – ego can play a role. It boils down to knowing why you’re doing it, who you’re serving, and how you’re going to stand out and over-deliver.

  16. Usman@FirstHosting
    April 12, 2011 | 2:56 am

    This is internet world, and we should always be expecting for new things coming up, and I guess its good to have these things coming up.

    because we need new things, new competition to make this world active, isn’t it?

    • Jon
      April 12, 2011 | 9:51 pm

      Yes we should be expecting new things around every corner. There’s always a new fad. Competition is a great thing and I think it’s a great leveler of many things; keeps me active I’ll say that much.

  17. [...] you’re reading this, you’re going places. You have your aim set high and you’re strategically building your business after hours and on weekends. Good [...]

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