Is quality important in business?

The most important aspect of business is quality, it always has been and always be. While there are many factors that contribute to a successful business none trumps this simple axiom whether it be a product or a service oriented enterprise. lack of quality in any aspect of business whether it be personnel, marketing, location, equipment, or any portion of business is essential. In the final analysis you will see how exactly this is true.

Many people will argue that the most important aspects of business are financing and advertising. I will not say these aren’t important and essential but they certainly are not number one when it comes to a successful business. When deciding to enter any business venture the first thing that is discussed is the product, and if the product is a stinker nothing will make the business venture work successfully. Advertising can spread the word and drive a lot of consumers your way, but if the product is no good, no amount of looks will create sales enough to save a bad idea.

For instance it is not uncommon for a person with a great product and business model to find financing anywhere. Everyone including lending institutions wants to make money and if they feel your idea is good enough they will line up to compete to lend you money. If the product or service is sub-par they will give you the polite denial letter and and often tell you the reason they will not finance the venture is the product. Quite simply people have had great ideas throughout business history and almost no money to invest on their own but gotten financing quite easily based on the strength of the concept for their product as can be seen with very simple items like the Hairagami, extension cord clip, and home hair cut systems. There are literally thousands of products like this people have brought to the market through financing from outside sources based on the strength of the product and succeeded.

There is also a school of thought that believes a strong advertising campaign can take even a bad product and push it until sales take off and make it viable. In the very short term this is sometimes true. New Coke back in the mid 1980’s sold great briefly but was so unpopular the old formula was demanded by consumers. If Coca-Cola can’t sell a bad product with their vast resources, nobody can.

Most of us as consumers have tried something new out on the basis of simply giving it a shot. While these are usually inexpensive things which we feel safe with risking a small amount of money, sometimes they are much larger financial risks. Either way the one truth that comes out of this is if the product is a bomb you aren’t going to be a repeat client and you’re very likely to let others know it stinks as well and steer them away from wasting their money on it. Did you ever hear of anyone giving positive endorsements of the Yugo? Conversely speaking if a product is good word of mouth from satisfied consumers can spread farther, faster, and more effectively than any advertising campaign. Honestly answer this, are you more likely to try something based on a trusted friends recommendation or a coupon or advertisement you randomly happen upon?

Again financing and advertising are important, there is no arguing that. Financing can help weather the turbulent start up time for a business, and advertising increases awareness for the product or service. As important as those aspects are however they simply won’t save a bad product. Business is a marathon, not a sprint, and getting out of the gates fast may be exhilarating, but eventually quality always wins out over hype.


  1. As a former quality systems specialist implementing ISO 9000 I agree wholeheartedly agree. Even in the innovation space quality is important. There can be and, at the right times and places, had to be, quality in innovation processes. But its nearly impossible to have innovation in QA. Conceptually and in practice the two are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. The best companies, Nokia being one example, structure their organisations and activities to achieve appropriate degrees of integration (and separation) between the two.
    Darryl Bubner blogger at

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