Last week Jess talked about all of the construction happening in and around Colorado Springs and the same is happening to those of us living in North Texas. I live in one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Texas which means lots, and lots, of construction.
Watching it unfold before our eyes is somewhat exciting, and also frustrating as we’re constantly being rerouted, not to mention how many tires we’ve had repaired and replaced in the last couple of years.
A favorite game our family plays is called “guess the building.” As we watch buildings and homes spring up daily, we love when the framing starts to go up because that provides clues as to what new restaurant or retail store is coming next. We begin to see hints of windows, an entrance, or roofline which separates one business from another. Each frame, which will eventually be a building, defines a specific company, and who it will serve.
The same is true for your business. Your frame creates the uniqueness for your business.
In our work, once your foundation has been poured, we move you, and your business, to phase two to begin focusing on the structure. This piece will help you define what your business will look like. Essentially who will you serve in your business? Do your clients want what you’re offering? How will yours differ from the other similar businesses out there? What do other business in the market look like? What are the key strengths and weaknesses of your business? This ultimately serves as the bones of your business and as you frame it out you’ll see your vision begin taking shape.
Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about knowing who your people are and how important it is for your business. These are the people who you want to focus your attention on and serve everyday. Knowing your people is important, but there’s more to it than just choosing a particular group. This step also involves digging in and doing your homework to figure out the why behind their buying choices, and most importantly, what would make them buy from you. Many business owners overlook this crucial step which can be costly, time consuming, and ultimately create the spinning wheel of death in their business. You may have a business, but it could be spinning in circles and not really making any headway, or money.
This is not the business anyone dreams of having.
Years ago, when I was still in corporate life, I spent several years recruiting new hires for a sales training program. I would travel the US and visit college campuses looking for the right people for the job. Our company even created a profile to help the recruiters identify their ideal targets to increases our chances of finding the perfect candidate to hire.
Every interview I asked the same question, “Why do you want to go into sales?” Almost every answer was, “I like people.” I remember on one particular campus after having heard that canned answer one too many times, I responded, “So do morticians.” The poor guy was stumped and didn’t know how to respond.
We all like people. The reality is when you originally envisioned your business and before you took the big leap, you saw who you wanted to serve and why you wanted to serve them. What happens many times after you take that leap is fear begins to set in, and slowly you begin questioning if there are enough of those people out there to support your business, or you become impatient and think that by focusing on everyone your business will grow even faster. It never does, because eventually this mode of operation leaves you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted and not making the money that you expected. It also puts you into desperation mode where you’re almost begging for someone to believe in and buy from you.
Why? Because you strayed from your true calling or vision and your own why – that’s what fills your business with passion and makes it special.
Fortunately for your business, the framing doesn’t have to be ripped down in order to be rebuilt. We start exactly where you are at this moment. You’ll get to know your people on an intimate and personal level. Then spend time doing market research to understand the reasons your people buy, why they would buy from someone else, and then validate your research to aid in designing your offers, writing your copy, and allocating money and resources to the right marketing channels to see the results you want, every single time.
When done correctly, your customer really sells themselves on buying from you because you know them better than anyone else.
What happens when the framing isn’t quite right? Go back to the drawing board and evaluate what’s not working. Now it’s time to evaluate the health of your structure. As you read through the following statements, honestly rate each one, using the scale of your choosing.
- Who is my target audience?
- Why do they need me?
- What problem do I solve for them?
- What frustrates them?
- What scares them?
- What are their biggest pain points in relation to my product/service?
- Who do they follow online?
- Where do they hang out online? (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin)
- Who or what inspires them?
- What transformation are they looking for?
- What do they spend money on?
- I know how to reach my target audience?
- I know what sets me/my business apart from others
Look at your business today through an objective and critical lens and see what’s missing. If there’s work to be done, there’s no time like the present. Remember you can’t change, what you don’t acknowledge.
If you need help along the way, click on the link below and we’d be happy to spend some time diving into what’s not quite fitting together in your business and design a plan that works.