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You're the Inspiration

Know what product or service you want? Chances are, others want it, too.

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This story appears in the September 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Creating a product or service to meet your own needs is one of the oldest business inspirations in the book. The thought, "Hey, I would like a service like this" inspires moms to invent nifty gadgets to make child rearing easier, and college students to deliver food to dorms. But how can you make sure a product or service you want will translate to the masses? How can you get the public to open their wallets for something you initially conceived just for you?

"You can't assume that what excites you about the solution is going to excite them," says Kristin Zhivago, author of Rivers of Revenue and founder of Zhivago Marketing Partners Inc., a revenue growth consulting firm in Jamestown, Rhode Island. You have to communicate to potential customers what is important about your product or service, says Zhivago. She notes that many entrepreneurs immediately go into salesperson mode--forgetting the crucial step of going into buyer mode.

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