Tough Business Questions
What value do you bring to the marketplace?
Are you offering a product or service people and business owners really want? I have worked with many tech startups who become enamored with their technology, without a clear picture of the why anyone would buy it. Beyond just offering a product what makes your solution different and better?
What is your target market?
Let’s start with the basics, no matter how hard you try, the answer to this questions will never be everyone. There are people or companies more likely to need what you do. when you try to please too broad an audience, you make product compromises so no one is completely satisfied And you end up watering down messages so they are bland enough to offend no one. Unfortunately, what’s left doesn’t excite anyone.
The clearer your definition is, the less time you spend chasing people who can’t or won’t buy from you.
Remember you went into business with a vision of enjoying what you were doing. It is hard to do that, when you don’t like your customers. Let’s face it, if you have more than one customer, you probably liked one more than the other.
So step back and figure out what makes someone a good fit for you. Sometimes it is the kind of project or the personality of the people you worked with. When you understand what makes someone a great fit, you can begin ranking prospects as acceptable, typical or ideal.
The more time you spend with ideal clients, the happier you will be.
Is the market large enough to support your business?
How many prospective customers are there? Hundreds? Thousands? To decide if the market is large enough, think about how many are using a comparable product from one of your competitors vs how many are not currently using a product or service like yours. While it would be wonderful if everyone in a market segment bought from you, that is unrealistic. So can you make a living if 10 or 20% of your market buys from you?
What is your capacity?
How many customers do you want? If all your marketing is working, how many leads can you handle? If you are generating more leads than you can handle, it is time to be selective, work with only your ideal clients, or simply raise your prices so you can focus on the people who really value what you do.
What is a customer worth?
As you start working on your marketing, you will need to decide how much you can afford to spend to add one new customer. It is impossible to do the math if you don’t know what a customer is worth. This is not just a single transaction, but the lifetime value of a customer. How much will they spend annually? How many years will they typically remain a customer? And how often will they introduce you to new customers.
What do you want your business to look like a year from now?
It will take more than just wishing to get there. When you are done answering the tough questions you will need a marketing plan, budget and calendar which will help you decide when to invest, how much to spend and what type of activities are the best fit for your business. Find all these tools and more in our Resource Library.
Answer the Tough Questions: What Makes You Special
Use this simple step by step process to create an effective positioning statement unique to your company.