Editor’s note: This is the third post of the Fast Forward Your Business series by guest blogger Phil Badura from ActionCOACH.
In this series of Fast Forward Your Business blogs, I’m addressing the six levels of business that are required to have a successful business – the Business Ladder of Success. We define a successful business as a:
‘Commercial, profitable enterprise, that works, without YOU’ …
In the last instalment we looked at Level 1 – Mastery. At the Mastery Level, this is where we establish the foundations of the business and move from Chaos to Control. This week we move on to Level 2 – Niche.
The Business Ladder of Success
Level 2 – Niche
Niche is about marketing and having a consistent and predictable cash flow.
If you live by price, you die by price. You only attract price shoppers, so there is no loyalty. Loyalty and repeat business is what creates ongoing business profits.
To get out of price competition, you need to be or do something different to the rest of your competition.
ActionCOACH’s definition of niche:
‘No Price Competition’
Unique Selling Proposition
‘No price competition’ is about finding what the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is in your business. Every business has something very special about it — the trick is to first identify what your USP is, and then articulate the USP so that customers can easily identify with your company.
Marketing guru Al Robinson says:
“A USP is a deep seeded identity check to see how well you understand your customer, your business, and the position of your business within the market in which you are competing.”
“It’s an attempt to understand your business so well that, given the opportunity, you can tell any listener or observer, exactly who you are, and what you can do, in such a way that they can’t help but want to know more about you and your business.”
Some examples of famous company USP’s include:
- Target: ‘Expect More. Pay Less’
- FedEx: ‘When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight’
- Cadbury: ‘A glass and a half in every block’
- Holden: ‘Let’s go there’
Your challenge is to find out what it is that makes your products or services unique and that set you apart from your competition.
Recommended reading: ‘Purple Cow’ by Seth Godin.
You’re either a Purple Cow or you’re not. You’re either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.
In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.
Combining your USP with a Guarantee will ensure that you set your business apart from the competition.
Using a guarantee (or a number of guarantees) is a great way to deal with customers’ key frustrations. For example, typical customer frustrations with tradies is that they rarely turn up on time, leave a mess and present poorly. Hopefully, this isn’t the case with your business, so why not incorporate these and other typical customer frustrations into your business’s guarantees? People may even be prepared to pay a little more because of them.
Also, in most countries the law requires you to repair, replace or make good any faulty work or defective items installed, so why not promote that you would do these things?
You can set the rules of the guarantee, however, make sure that you can deliver on the guarantee.
Marketing: test & measure
With all marketing activities it is essential that you Test & Measure the effectiveness of the campaign. This will enable you to quickly identify if the marketing is working or not.
Do more marketing on what is working and stop whatever marketing is not working!
It may cost you a lot of money, with no return, if you leave your marketing to trial and error.
Marketing should be seen as being an INVESTMENT and therefore, you should be expecting a Return On Investment (ROI) from all of your marketing campaigns and activities.
In the next instalment of Fast Forward Your Business we’ll look at Level 3 on the Business Ladder of Success: Leverage.
In business, it is always the little things that get big results. Take the Marketing Check to receive a complimentary report on the ‘marketing status’ of your Business.
Phil Badura – Business Coach
Phil is a certified Business Coach at ActionCOACH. Specialising in business advice, planning, coaching and mentoring, Phil’s passion is for helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and become more profitable.