Beachhead strategies have proven their success since the Allies’ D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944. The Allied forces established beachheads on the shores of Normandy as a key starting point for gradually conquering all Nazi-controlled territory. Similarly, selecting your beachhead market is about focusing on one key area (i.e. small market segment or product category) where you can leverage your competitive advantage in such a way that you may even dominate this market while strengthening your core and strategically position yourself for future markets.

Selecting a beachhead market is about choosing a single, small, homogeneous market. This allows you to optimize your chances of quickly establishing a strong market position and a state of positive cash flow that will give you the momentum to conquer adjacent markets with different offerings.

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Focus is key!

How can you define such a market? Compare each market against three conditions that define a market, focusing on the end user:
1. Will end users all use the same product? If you have to make small tweaks to appeal to different end users in what you are considering as the same market, it is too broad.
2. Will the sales process to the end user be the same? If your salespeople need to change channels and tactics from one end user to the next, your market is not targeted enough.
3. Is there strong word of mouth between end users in this community? If your end users do not talk to each other (i.e. separated by large distances), you must refine your market.

Focus is key at this stage! Once you can affirmatively answer these three questions you will have found a small and homogeneous enough market to concretize efficiencies of scale in the market and build a realistic end user’s profile.

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