INSTANT MBA: Execs Become Easily Disconnected As The Company Grows Bigger

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Today’s advice comes from Jim Koch, founder of The Boston Beer Company, via

“As a business grows, the people at the top are often cut off from the market, the customers, and what’s really happening. I still do a lot of street selling and spending a lot of time in front of customers, whether it’s trying to get a draft line or a better place on the shelf. It teaches me the real challenges. We don’t do a lot of market research or focus groups, but I see real customers and to me that’s a lot higher quality information.”

Since starting his craft brewery 27 years ago, Koch has credited his company’s success to real connections with consumers. A company’s focus should not be solely about beating the competition, but about educating customers and crafting their appreciation for the product. If this is accomplished, then success will come.

“Find a way to show how your product will help customers accomplish their objectives. If you can’t, then you’re wasting your time because even if you sell them your product, they’re not going to buy it again. And if it’s a bad experience for them, you’re better never having made the sale.”

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