It shouldn't be a difficult question, but for some business owners it is the one that they dread.
What is it that you do?
There are often good reasons as to why the question presents such problems. Businesses change and evolve over time and often owners and managers are so busy with the day to day operation of it that they don't have time to take a breath and work out exactly what they do. Sadly this means that they don't accurately portray their business to prospective customers.
We have reviewed the positioning of many businesses and charities in Scotland. Defining with them what it is they they do, identifying the key benefits that they offer to their customers, as well as the unique place that they occupy in their market.
So why is this process so important?
Once you have defined your proposition, values and differences then it will help you to better present yourself in marketing and on-line as well as face to face with prospective clients. This of course puts you in a stronger position to win more business.
How to achieve this?
Here are some questions that you could answer about your business, product, service or charity.
1. What is your vision? For a cancer charity that might be as bold as they want to see a world where cancer doesn't exist. A challenging vision of course, however it's an aspiration - an overall goal that your work can get you closer to achieving, even if you are unable to reach it.
2. What is your mission? Again using the cancer charity example their mission could be to provide enough funding to facilitate research that will lead to a cure for cancer. Again, this becomes a mindset, rather than a 'to-do' list, its a uniting purpose for you and your team. A purpose that you can stop and refocus on when you feel that you're not all heading in the same direction of travel.
3. Who are your target customers? The more that you can define who it is that you most want to be attracted to your product or service then you can then get more targeted with your marketing and communication. This can help your precious marketing spend to become more effective and valuable for you and also to fine tune and articulate your communication and pitch to be more appropriate for your audience.
4. What problems can you solve for them? So this is how you find solutions and serve the needs and requirements of your target customers. If you start thinking about solving problems for your customers you will become more valuable to them.
5. What is unique about what you do? Define the unique proposition that you offer to your customers, a proposition that ideally only you can achieve in your market.
6. What position do you (want to) occupy in the market? Be clear about the space that you want to occupy in your market, where do you sit? are you high end? are you mass market? are you niche? Really define the space that you either occupy, or aspire to own and then stick to it - even when the competition bites, as this is when businesses get very distracted and can often try and replicate the competitor, rather than sticking to its unique position.
7. What's your pitch? Hopefully the answers of 1 to 6 will help you put together a 30 second or so pitch that can be articulated whenever you are asked to describe your business, or can be written down, to present exactly what it is that you do and what makes you so special.
Thank-you for reading, if you would like to find out about our Marketing, Video and Photography Services, for businesses and charities of all sizes in Scotland please call Paul Saunders on 01360 661029. We are based in Loch Lomond and work throughout Scotland.