Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and with any good season change it's also a good time to take stock in your business and do a little reflecting on your plans the next couple of months. To help you with that I'm going to share with you 5 questions you can use to help you build ideas and think through who exactly are the people you want to serve.
"Well, I'm serving everyone that I can" - said the business owner who was so afraid of losing the sale they weren't thinking about authentically growing.
Wanting to serve everyone is natural. If you felt that it was easy right out of the entrepreneurial gate to turn potential sales away then you are a really rare breed.
It doesn’t matter if you are a new business or have been around for a while there is always pressure to bend to the whims of the people that are willing and able to spend their money on us. The trick is to get really good at picking which of those whims to indulge and which to just let site in the suggestion box.
In order to help you control constantly changing and adapting your brand around for what everyone wants one of the first things you need a handle on is deciding in which market your particular good or service is playing.
That’s not to say that you can’t grow beyond it, pivot away from it, or create new stuff entirely down the line. Getting narrow and specific about your market or your best target customer/experience will be crucial in accelerating your growth. Not to mention increase the rate of return on your time and capital investments.
When you focus and get narrow on your market it gives you the opportunity to serve that market with a greater level of depth. You are working on building relationships and authority with your potential customers and on becoming a resource for them. When you niche down you also have the opportunity to better understand all the pieces of your own value chain - especially with what happens after the customer engages with you.
Here are 5 questions to help you narrow your focus:
1.) Of the people you serve the hardest are there any common factors that tie all of them together beyond the solution you provide?
2.) Does your product or service address a pain point entirely or is what you offer part of a bigger solution?
3.) How big is your market and is there room for realistic growth?
4.) Are you differentiating against any competitors? Are there any core capabilities that give you an edge over them?
5.) Do your stakeholders believe that you are an expert in your market? If not, how can you tweak your marketing to best communicate that to your customers in the best medium for them?
This list of 5 questions are important and hopefully hit you with a bit dose of “real”. When you are talking about identifying markets it can be easy to drift off into academic-exercise land and out of answering the questions that matter most.
Think about your business and these questions with the focus on narrowing your market so that you can dig deep and start growing. Move away from being a mile wide and an inch deep and into an inch wide and a mile deep - that’s where real connections and solutions get made.