Questions Every Business Owner Must Answer
“Why should I buy from you?” That is the question your marketing must answer. Of all the companies which do what you do, what makes you uniquely qualified to solve a customer’s problem?
To answer that question you need to answer a lot of other really tough questions first.
All of your marketing should be focused on helping prospective customers find the answer to that question. However, is is impossible to create great marketing if you don’t take the time to answer the following questions first.
What is your ideal customer
Let’s start with the basics, no matter how hard you try, the answer to this question will never be everyone. There are people or companies more likely to need what you do. When you try to please too broad an audience, you make compromises so no one is completely satisfied. You water down messages so they are bland enough to offend no one. Unfortunately, what’s left doesn’t excite anyone.
The clearer your definition is, the less time you spend chasing people who can’t or won’t buy from you or worse, you don’t like working with!
You have a vision of a business you love. It is hard to do that when you don’t like your customers. So figure out what makes someone a good fit for you. Maybe it is a type of project, specific industry or the personality of the people you work with. When you understand what makes someone a great fit, you can begin ranking prospects as acceptable, typical or ideal.
The more time you spend with ideal clients, the happier you will be.
Who wants your product?
I have worked with many tech startups who are enamored with their technology, without a clear picture of the why anyone would buy it. Marketing is most effective when it connects your product to specific customer pain points. Beyond just offering a product what makes your solution different, better or simply relevant.
Is the market large enough to support your business?
How many prospective customers are there? Hundreds? Thousands? Think about how many people are using a comparable product from one of your competitors. Can you convert those customers? How many new people can you bring into the market. While it would be wonderful if everyone in a market segment bought from you, that is unrealistic. So how larger a percentage of the market do you need to capture to be successful.
What is your capacity?
How many customers do you want? If all your marketing is working, how many leads can you handle? If you are generating more leads than you can handle, it is time to be selective, work with only your ideal clients, or simply raise your prices so you can focus on the people who really value what you do.
What is a customer worth?
To make decisions on marketing investments you need to calculate how much you can afford to spend to add one new customer. It is impossible to do the math if you don’t know what a customer is worth. This is not just a single transaction, but the lifetime value of a customer. How much will they spend annually? How many years will they typically remain a customer? And how often will they introduce you to new customers.
What do you want your business to look like a year from now?
It will take more than just wishing to get there. When you are done answering the tough questions you will need a marketing plan, budget and calendar to guide your investments and marketing activities.
MARKETING PLAN STARTER KIT
Effective marketing doesn’t happen by accident. It is built on a solid foundation which includes a clear definition of your ideal customer and their needs along with an understanding of your sales process and goals.
Sounds like a pretty complex document, right? Well it doesn’t have to be. Use our simple guide to build your plan, today!