I’m sure you’ve heard it before – the arguments for defining a narrow niche for your business. And yet, you don’t quite believe it. It seems to go against common sense. Why narrow your potential market? Don’t you want to attract as many customers as possible?
Have you ever had a crisis of confidence? You know what I mean – the kind where you look at all of your competitors, and you secretly think, I’m good, but I’ll never be as good as they are, or I’ll never be able to develop the reputation that they have?
During a recent MSNBC interview with Kat Cole, the Group President of Focus Brands and COO of its subsidiary, Cinnabon, she mentioned three business rules she always follows. Kat is credited with turning Cinnabon into a billion dollar brand, so I take her advice seriously! One of the “rules” that she mentioned is to “stay incredibly close to your customers, they have all the answers” A business woman after my own heart!
Does this sound familiar? You’re doing all the right things. You’re on all the social media sites, you blog, you have a stunning website, you get great customer reviews, and your product or service is top notch. You’re exhausting yourself and your bank account trying to be everywhere, in front of everyone. And yet, you have very little to show for it.
2015 is approaching rapidly! Every year, I use the last month to do strategic planning in preparation for the following year. Year-end is a great time to reflect on the year’s WINS and losses, along with all there is to be learned. Then, plan the year ahead.
If you’re like most business owners, you want your company to stand out from the crowd, to be innovative, and to have a clear market position.
If you’re in business, then you know about the importance of lead generation through customer recommendations, also known as the word of mouth effect. The cost of acquiring a referred new customer is much lower than the cost of acquiring a new customer through other marketing efforts.
Managing your sales activities to focus on the most profitable customers and products is key to the success of your business.
Ask an entrepreneur about the biggest challenges in his business, and you will inevitably hear that his potential customers don’t see or understand the value of his product or service. The entrepreneur’s prospects are not buying, or they are asking for a lower price. One thing strikes me about this issue – entrepreneurs often “blame” the customer. The lament – why don’t these people understand how valuable my offering is? Why don’t they see that my offering is so much better than my competitor’s, (who just happens to be undercutting my prices)?