The market is trying to tell you your USP

Most business advisers and thousands of books all tell us we need to identify our USP. The aspect that sets us apart from the rest, and that the market values above all else. Some, maybe most of us, agonise over identifying this road to wealth. But the market has already identified it, and they thought you knew. Here’s how to discover what the market thinks yours is.

Why do I need a niche?

Just about every adviser tells us that we need to find a niche for our business, but nobody tells me specifically why. It is just said to be good for business – well, how good is it?

Remind me again why I started my own business?

Most days being self-employed is just fine. No boss that makes stupid decisions, no idiot clients that you can’t say “no” to. Sometimes there’s even a little flexibility around going home early. But the other days – you’re still doing paperwork after everyone else has gone home and just getting by on what’s left after expenses and payroll have been paid. Perhaps you don’t get holidays any more because someone has to open up. The solution to these problems isn’t what you think it is.

One question you really need to ask your business coach

There are two views on the suggestion that “Every business needs a business coach”. One is that the external advice will benefit the business by more than the fee, resulting in happy days and record profits. The other is that it is a clever marketing ploy created by an out-of-work business coach and the profits will all flow the other way. Here’s how to make sure having a coach works for you.

Is your business appealing to your market?

Most of us think that our brand appeals to the market, and we try to make certain of that by making sure our sales staff are the best. Sales staff are trained in product knowledge, engaging customers, and every other skill necessary to connect with the market, appeal to customers, and close sales. But that’s only a part of the story of your appeal in the market.

Why you need to think before you act

It is a very good example of communication in business, and how the stronger part of the message is often non verbal. Coopers never said they didn’t support same sex marriage, yet they suffered the backlash when their outlets began cancelling orders, based on feedback from their (the pub’s) clientele.

Do you have to innovate?

Innovation is important, especially if your market thinks it is. The thing is that all markets think so. Let me give you a brief summary about innovation and then if you’re interested I’ll tell you where you can find out what your market thinks about your innovation strategy.

How well are you communicating with your market?

Good communications is vital for a successful, long term business. Having the best product or service offerings is only the beginning. Think of that as the “entry fee” that gets you in to the game. You also have to communicate that point of difference to your chosen market, educate them about your understanding of their problem, your solution, and why it’s better than your competitors offering.

Is what you’re selling appealing?

We all believe that everybody should want to buy what we have for sale – so why don’t we need more staff to handle the rush? There are three factors that you must consider.