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The First Customers
  • Publication Date:
    July 2011

Foothold strategies build on a paradox. Through focusing on small targets, the foothold approach enables more rapid penetration of big customer sets. Mastering this paradox requires considering why a foothold strategy is suited to a particular venture and determining which advantages of footholds are particularly important to attain. Managers then can choose a foothold to maximize those advantages. Equally, they can keep perspective about how much to invest in the foothold, given that this group of customers might seem insignificant compared with the company’s ultimate aspirations. Winning in the foothold is a goal, but it is also a means to an end.

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