The other day, a friend called me and presented an opportunity to invest in a new product. He was convinced it would be very successful but was stumped by my follow up question.
“How much do you have budgeted for marketing?” I asked.
He admitted that all of the budget had gone toward creating the product. It was “good to go except for that,” he explained.
For a business to succeed in producing and selling a product, it’s almost a certainty it will need to have marketing dollars. And probably more dollars than they think. A product without money to market it to consumers is almost doomed to fail.
When I was the mayor, people came to me with all sorts of ideas. It usually involved building something. Listening to people and their ideas was all very interesting, but I quickly learned there’s a big difference between a funded idea and an unfunded idea.
As I speak across the country, I frequently get asked about Oklahoma City’s ability to accomplish so much that other cities are not able to accomplish. It’s not that Oklahoma City’s leadership throughout the last 25 years has been more enlightened on what a city needs to be successful, the key to the success has been that we have found ways to pay for the things.
MAPS has grown into a very successful tool to fund worthy ideas. Cities around the country are continually amazed at the creative ways Oklahoma City works with the private sector to ‘make things happen.’
Whether you are in business or in government, the ideas keep pouring in front of you. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a good idea or a bad idea, the more important question is, “How are we going to pay for it?”