Deadly Sins

Deadly Sin #5

All sizzle, no steak.

Remember Milli Vanilli? The '80s duo was a sensation-until it was revealed they were only lip-syncing their songs.

To create a business with staying power, you need a product of substance or a service that provides value. Budget as much for market research as you do for advertising and promotions. I've seen companies fail because the initial hype exceeded the customer demand and sales potential. If you can provide quality and value and get that information to your target market, you're halfway there. Good service and established customer relationships will take you the rest of the way.

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This article was originally published in the August 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Deadly Sins.

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