Business have always had this problem… making themselves stand out from the hundreds of other businesses out there offering the same products or services.
The state of the economy, belts being tightened and more people than ever before starting businesses makes this even more of a challenge.
Surprisingly few really address the issue – what makes what I offer in my business so different from others offering the same?
Well the short answer and the most appropriate for small business owners is you.
You are the point of difference in your business. No one does what you do the same as you.
When is comes to building a successful brand the point of difference is important, but your business’ positioning is paramount.
In my Choice Anxiety blog post I talked about why its so important to build a brand and some of the elements of building a successful brand – the first being positioning.
Positioning is about finding that unique space in your customers’ minds that only your offering can fill.
Positioning is about not only knowing who your customers are and what they want; but also knowing what you are really good at and how you can use that to satisfy what your customers want, and therefore lead to more sales.
A really good example of great positioning is Off To See My Lawyer – a firm of solicitors specifically targeting female small business owners. From the look of their website to their product and service offering to the content of their blog posts and e-newsletters – all geared to ‘speak’ to female business owners. I would guess that Off To See My Lawyer occupies the ‘who to go to with business legal issues’ space in the large majority of their customers minds.
This isn’t to say that the company doesn’t work with male business owners and large companies. They just choose to focus most of their resources on this particular market as it makes business sense for the company and the owner.
This sometimes brings up the issue of whether to be a niche business or not. I’ll explain why I think you should always be niche in next week’s blog post.
So back to positioning; one of the most important things to understand with positioning and what many business owners find the hardest is really knowing what their customers are buying from them. Once they are clear on that it makes the positioning processes so much easier.
a baker doesn’t just sell bread, he sells the most important element of a perfect sandwich.
an accountant doesn’t just manage a company’s accounts he saves the company money and gives the business owner piece of mind.
Generally service-orientated businesses are able to grasp this better than product-orientated businesses.
So which of your customers’ problems are you providing a solution for?
I’ll be running a Branding & Positioning Your Business for Growth workshop on 19th March where I’ll be working with business owners to clarify their current positioning and how to reposition their businesses to attract the high value customers they need. Why don’t you join us.
!!Early Bird Period extended until 5th March!!