We recently helped one our our clients, a college training centre, do research with small business owners. We discovered that the three top issues were how to find new customers; stay ahead of their competition; and spend marketing money more effectively.
A good first step in getting to the next step in your business is to discover what your company is really good at. In business lingo, this is called “defining your core competency.”
Another way of asking the question is, “If you were forced to divest your company of everything it does every day except one set of activities, what would you keep?” What really generates your profit and makes your customers keep coming back? And what could you ditch with no real danger to your business?
Once you know what is core to the survival and prosperity of your business, it gets easier to see who you appeal to, and therefore where to find them, and how to spend your sales and marketing dollars.
Here are some ideas to start your thinking.
Are you better than your competition at the nuts and bolts of getting raw materials and components, turning them into products and setting up a great distribution and sales network? This is probably the only time we will recommend you look at your pricing; if you can drive cost our of your processes and guarantee delivery times, you can pass savings on to customers and create long-term business relationships.
If research, and designing great products is what you are good at, you can go to market saying you really have developed the equivalent of the better mousetrap! Unique products is where you’ll compete.
If you are known for creating fantastic ads and marketing systems that drive customer relationships, you’ll be able to say that you are easier to do business with than your competition, and be able to prove it. If your team excels at creating happy customers who can’t wait to refer you, you’ll want to focus on the results you offer.
It’s a simple idea: find what you are good at, and spend your hard-earned marketing money on finding customers who want just what you do best.