When I was the dean of a business college, I was frequently asked to meet with people in the business community who had a big idea and a website or invention to go with it. I had similar experiences in Silicon Valley when I worked in broadcast television. I reviewed website ideas almost daily.
The meetings were painful. The people weren't bad but rarely did I see an idea that was ready for the marketplace. The fundamental problem with most ideas is that there is little thought given to demand assessment.
My favorite query is to ask about the hole in the marketplace. I especially like to ask the question of someone who wants to start a new restaurant.
"People are eating somewhere tonight and ate somewhere last night. What makes you believe that there is demand for your new gourmet hot dog cafe? How many hot dogs will people eat in a week?"
Idea people ask a few friends about their idea and get excited when they hear that their friends would be the first customers. Chatting with friends about an idea is hardly demand research. At best, friends are friends and will happily encourage other friends to "go for it."
Ideas are not reality. Demand is reality. I want the product or service and I'm willing to pay for it. But there is another caveat hidden within the willingness to pay question.
Ideas need to be vetted in one primary metric—customers may buy the product once, but will they buy it again? Are customers willing to pay—AGAIN?
Let's apply this business question to ministry ideas. Leaders must develop a mechanism to vet new ideas to evangelize through programs and activities. Too often, good ideas are confused with good ministry.
As with new products and services, new ministry programs should be preceded by demand assessment. As leaders, we may be convinced to support a new program because "everyone said they would love to attend."
But will they attend again?
Some programs burn out quickly because demand did not exist from the beginning. It was an idea but the reality became known a few weeks into the launch.
It's relatively easy to create excitement, gain staff involvement and fund a new project.
It's nearly impossible to sustain a good idea in the face of no demand and bad reality.
P.S. Do you subscribe to Ministry Today? Will you please consider doing it?
With the link below you will receive my special publisher's offer. Our baseline subscription is $24.97. My offer to you is a one-year subscription (6 issues) for $10.00.
I'd like to know what you think of Ministry Today and would love to hear from you.
Please click here today for the Dr. Greene special.
"For who among you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost to see whether he has resources to complete it?" (Luke 14:28).
Platform Tip #101
Platforms work because your message attracts an audience with felt needs.
Most people will not respond to platform opportunities without a felt need.
Perhaps you read these platform tips because you feel a need to get your message out to more people. But if these tips were focused upon motorcycle maintenance, perhaps I would lose you as a reader.
Before you write your next message, write a note to your readers to explain the need you are addressing. You don't need to send the note, just be clear and concise about who you are writing to.
Re-read the note every day before you write. It's amazing how clarity will make you a better communicator.
Do you want to learn more about developing your personal platform?
Send for my free series of lessons titled, "The Fundamentals of Creating, Curating and Developing Content for Multiple Platforms." Send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not share your email address with anyone.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.