We made it! In preparation for Justin Starbird's seminar on August 20th at the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, his 5 Part Series on 5 Business Mistakes to Avoid concludes with these last 2 points. (Register Here for the Seminar.)
The focus on this presentation by Justin will focus on "How to Tell Your Story."
"A lot of businesses, ESPECIALLY in Maine, think that they can get by on their service or quality or word of mouth. The truth is, they need to stand out. Find their special 'niche' and tell their community & the world." - Justin Starbird.
Parts 4 & 5
#4. No Differentiation in the Marketplace
Everyone is out there trying to create a business. Anyone with a hooded sweatshirt can be the next Instagram, or the next Baxter Brewing, right?
In fact, Entrepreneur.com put out a story entitled “Why Everyone Will Have To Become An Entrepreneur”. If this holds true, instead of your competition being 50 other people with dreams of paddle boarding in Newport Beach or Malibu, it could soon be 50,000 of these guys.
What does that even mean? The answer: A LOT!
For those companies that don’t have anything unique to add to their industry, there will be plenty of noise and chaos for those fighting for the bottom scraps in their market. Most times this is a slow killer of businesses. Barely hanging on, entrepreneurs with some customers and some revenue skimp along for months or even years. Every painful inch wondering to themselves if this is all there really is.
Or sometimes just as bad is when an entrepreneur works hard to discover that one point of differentiation and then blows it because they have no idea how to communicate their message in a clear, concise and compelling manner. Although different, bleeding out in this manner is just as excruciating because often times they know they are different, but don’t realize that their customers don’t know the difference.
It is actually pretty simple. Learn how to communicate better. If an entrepreneur is truly engaged in conversation (read: dialogue, not monologue), then you’ll learn the language of your customer. If your customer is Colombian, you need to speak Spanish; please stop trying to speak Russian to them. Listen to the words and language that your customers use and then integrate it into your business and culture. Focus on these 3 points:
Be clear (Are your customers clear on what you ARE and what you are NOT? Are your customers clear on what value you bring to them?).
Be concise (Are you somewhat clear but go on and on and on in your messaging? They don’t want to hear you, so keep it quick.).
Be compelling (Do the words you use persuade your customers to take the action you want them to?)
In the end, being in business is a zero sum game. If you’re making money, someone else is not. If you buy a Pepsi, Coke missed out. It is tough. If you fail to accurately define where your product or market fit is or where your money gets made, then you’re sunk.
What are you GREAT at in your business? Have you ever thought that if others could just see that one thing, they would choose you? Or have you ever said that you have no problem selling; you just need more people to sell to? The key to growth is consistently having more prospects & more products to sell. The Aebli Group process is to set up systems & automated processes for you to make sure that the funnels are always full. From lead generation, to collateral, to sales and follow-up, The Aebli Group team will walk you through how to set up a system for each step.
#5 Lack of a Profitable Business Model
Entrepreneurs can actually have each of the 4 above reasons solved, but still miss the business model boat.
Established businesses & startups need to move swiftly without spending tons of cash to figure out their secret sauce. Using tools and methodologies such as Minimum Viable Products, Lean Marketing and Experimentation is critical. Honestly, in today’s climate, it is easier then ever to do that. Using Fiverr, 99Designs, and Amazon, you can have a business in literally hours.
A perfect example of this comes from Tony Hsieh’s book ‘Delivering Happiness”, wherein he describes the early days of Zappos. Back in the late 90's, just before the first tech bubble burst, Tony & his co-founders weren’t even sure people would dare order shoes over the Internet. There was still very much a security stigma about purchasing something online. The guys ran a quick test: they created a barebones website with images of shoes taken from manufacturers’ websites, some buy now call to action buttons and watched to see what would happen.
Order came through, one of the guys sprints to the local shoe store, buys the requested shoes at full retail, and then ran back home to ship out the brand new shoes. Did they lose money on every pair of shoes shipped? Yes they did.
However, they quickly ascertained whether they had a potentially viable business immediately. All with zero inventory or fulfillment capabilities. Have you thought how you could pull off a similar project?
Think and move quickly, ‘fail fast’ if you’re going to fail at all, and nail your business model.
Sometimes the most difficult part of the business is making it profitable. It is one thing to have the whole business plan lain out, for sales to start coming in and then realize that the margins are too thin to make the business work. What the team at The Aebli Group does every single day is work with you on how to add value to your customers & clients so that they never choose to do business with you on price. We want them to pick you for all of the other reasons & then get a great deal as a way to say thank you for being a customer – not to be a customer.
With so many things working against you, how can you expect to be successful in your business?
The truth is, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. A lot of times people think it is a great idea or will be easy but are sorely misguided. In fact, if you’re a personality type of a number 2 or #3, there is nothing wrong with that. The work place is full of poorly fitted roles in companies.
But, if you are truly someone with a great idea or a business that is on the cusp of something great, then this document is a cautionary message to make sure you avoid pitfalls that can undermine what you have worked so hard to build.
The way to be certain that you avoid the 5 reasons that were outlined about why a business fails is to first recognize your weaknesses. If you’re missing a “piece” find it, and fix it. All businesses can be rehabilitated.
Justin Starbird, CEO of The Aebli Group, is an expert on helping you create value in your market. He has helped countless companies & organizations position themselves as the solution to their customers’ problem and authorities in their industry.
Justin brings his laser like focus to helping you find that ‘key trigger’ that makes you better or different in your industry. Once armed with that knowledge, the rest of The Aebli Group Team helps you put in systems and integrate automation so that your customers are raising their hand and running to do business with you.
The Aebli Group is ready for the challenge & we are looking forward to working with you!
Register for Justin's seminar on Thursday August 20th Here> TELL YOUR STORY!