Over at Freelock Computing, we're learning the fundamentals of business from experience. We've been doing technology for a long time, but are relatively new to business, so what we've learned is hardly innovative or new. But we seem to be honing in on different computing solutions to support the four key parts of any business: marketing, sales, operations, and finances.
As mass markets become micromarkets, marketing becomes ever more important. If people don't know about your services, how can they buy from you? But marketing is not always enough. At a certain point, sales takes over. Sales, in the Internet age, is not about selling some product you don't really need, but about developing a relationship with your customers until they have enough confidence, trust, and desire to buy from you.
Our favorite marketing guru, Seth Godin, writes about how a good sales person truly helps his customers: Seth's Blog: Hard sell at the farmer's market