Barry Bradham's Blog

Cracking the code of the timeless chicken and egg problem in business, and exploring practical ways to overcome it.


What is the Chicken and Egg Problem in Business?

Like an age-old riddle, the chicken and egg paradox always leaves entrepreneurs scratching their heads: what comes first, chicken or egg? The need or the supply? The customers or the products? In this article, we will crack the code of this timeless paradox in business, and explore practical ways to overcome it.

The Chicken and Egg Paradox Explained

Imagine you’re starting a business that needs both customers and suppliers. Picture a ride-sharing app, for example. To work well, it needs both drivers and passengers. But here’s the twist: getting drivers to join depends on having enough riders, and attracting riders relies on having plenty of drivers. It’s a bit like a puzzle where neither side wants to commit first, causing a frustrating deadlock.

This kind of problem can slow down or even stop startups and businesses from growing. They struggle because they can’t attract customers without enough suppliers, and they can’t attract suppliers without enough customers. It’s a roadblock that can halt even the most promising ventures.

How to Overcome The Chicken and Egg Problem

While it may seem like a tough challenge, there are smart strategies to crack the Chicken or the Egg Paradox and get your business moving. Here are some straightforward solutions:

1. Focus on Building One Side:

Start by concentrating on getting either customers or suppliers on board first. Sometimes, it means offering deals, discounts, or perks to attract them. For example, many ride-sharing apps give riders discounts or offer drivers better pay to get things rolling.

2. Start Small:

Another way is to begin with a smaller group of early users or suppliers. Give them exclusive benefits or access to make them feel special. This can create a buzz and bring in the first few participants needed to kickstart your business.

3. Learn and Change:

Stay flexible. Be ready to change your product or service based on feedback from your first customers or suppliers. This might mean tweaking what you offer, adjusting prices, or finding new groups to target. Airbnb, for example, started by renting air mattresses in apartments but switched to home-sharing based on user feedback.

4. Team Up:

Working together with other businesses can be a big help. Partner with companies that complement what you’re doing. They might already have customers or suppliers you can tap into. This is a common trick used by payment companies that team up with stores to encourage people to use their payment methods.

5. Grow Slowly:

Some businesses choose to start small and grow step by step. They target a small, specific group at first, then expand as they gain more users or suppliers. This method helps build a loyal customer base before taking on bigger markets. Many craft food and drink brands follow this path.

6.  Focus on Niche Markets

Focusing on ‘niche markets’ can be a smart way to sidestep the Chicken or the Egg Paradox. When your efforts are poured into small, specialized groups of customers, you’re saving your costs and time. At the same time, mastering your niche can help you build up a customer base and compete in your own space, away from big market competition.

7. Get Guidance from Certified Business Coaches

Should you invest in an online business coach? Indeed, yes. Getting guidance from business coaches can indeed be valuable in overcoming the Chicken and Egg problem.

These professionals can offer personalized advice and strategies tailored to your specific situation. They can help you navigate the challenges, identify opportunities, and make informed decisions, accelerating your progress in breaking through the paradox.

Engaging with a certified business coach like Barry Bradham can be a wise decision if you’re facing the Chicken or the Egg Paradox or any other business challenges. Whether it’s building a customer base or attracting suppliers, Barry can guide you toward success. Get in touch with Barry or check out Barry’s free coaching resources

In conclusion, the Chicken or the Egg Paradox is a puzzling challenge in business, but it’s far from unbeatable. By following the right strategies, businesses and entrepreneurs can break through the problem. At the end of the day, the goal is always  to create a system where both customers and suppliers benefit, while avoiding the roadblocks of this tricky paradox.

So, it’s not about whether the chicken or the egg comes first. It’s about finding clever ways to make them work together, allowing your business to grow steadily and successfully.


Barry Bradham

A serial entrepreneur, a certificated coach and a dot’com that is eager to share his experience to other business owners.

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