I am almost one week into my Countdown to Christmas where, each day during Advent, I am sharing tips and guidance for small business owners.
Perfect, if you haven’t started planning for 2018 yet, or you have tried and have got a bit stuck for inspiration.
If you have missed the first week, here is a roundup of the tips, which you can also find on Distinktiv’s Facebook page.
1# A BETTER BOTTOM LINE – WHY THERE IS VALUE IN TAKING THE TIME TO STEP BACK AND WORK ON YOUR STRATEGY
A couple of compelling reasons why you should take time out to work on your strategy.
A business with a well thought out strategy will on average have more than a 300% advantage on its profit margin over one that doesn’t (Strategic Thinking Institute)
76% is the average growth for brands with a strong value proposition but no compelling advertising. 27% is the average growth for brands with strong advertising but no clear resonant proposition. (based on analysis by research agency Millward Brown on top brands over a 10-year period)
So, as you can see there is lots of value in working on your strategy. Defining your value proposition, for which you need to know your ideal client first, plays a very key part!
2# FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS WHERE YOU WILL GET THE GREATEST RETURNS – WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THE TIME TO IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
For small businesses, focus is important. Identifying your ideal client is not about ‘niching’ your business, if that's not what you want. It means focusing your marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to buy, spend the most and/ or are the easiest for you to work with. It doesn't mean turning away referrals from people who don't meet your ideal client profile, if you don't want to.
3# KEEP AWAY TIME WASTERS – YET ANOTHER BENEFIT OF IDENTIFYING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Ever wasted lots of time with a prospect who in hindsight had little intention of buying? Focusing your marketing around attracting your ideal client and deterring those who aren't will reduce the chance of that happening.
#4 A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THE IDEAL CLIENT IN ACTION AND WHY BEING SPECIFIC OPENS UP OPPORTUNITIES RATHER THAN LIMITS THEM
Grab some coffee and a mince pie and read the article
For examples of questions you can ask to identify your ideal client, see my ‘You're The One That I Want’ blog. I use the questions featured – and others – in my discovery sessions. Alternatively, there are lots of free avatar templates out there that you can use.
5# WHAT IS A VALUE PROPOSITION AND WHY YOU SHOULD WORK ON YOURS
Put simply, It is what you sell to your clients.
However, instead of coming up with a product or service and just putting it out to market, you look at what you are selling, or planning to sell, and assess how it delivers value to the group of people you have identified as your ideal client.
For example, if you are a hairdresser, instead of selling a haircut try and think in terms of selling the opportunity to be more confident. This makes it easier for you to think more strategically. What products or services could you cross sell or up sell to make a person more confident? What alliances with other businesses could you form?
For a Business to Business example - say you design office space - it’s not simply about furniture and wall colours, it could be about creating an environment in which businesses and their people can flourish. Again, the process of defining your value proposition helps you to think more strategically, to come up with messaging and stand-out ways for taking your product or service to market.
Have a think about how you deliver value.
6# DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF – WHAT A VALUE PROPOSITION IS NOT
· a list of features and/or benefits
· a ‘unique selling point’ or ‘unique value point’ statement
These are elements of a value proposition but not a value proposition in themselves.
7# MAKE YOURSELF STAND OUT – WHY DEFINING A VALUE PROPOSITION IS IMPORTANT
It will help you determine what makes what you sell so uniquely valuable to your ideal client.
ASDA opticians - Our complete price on glasses. ASDA homed in on the fact that as consumers – especially if we require specialist lenses - we are getting tired of being lured by opticians with what seems like a good price only to end up paying much more once the extras have been added on. That’s what makes their complete price on glasses proposition so powerful – especially for someone like me who has to go for the extras.
Have you seen any great examples around?