Monday, 25 April 2011

Charge three times as much as your competition

Want to know how to charge three times as much as your rivals - for something that is identical by law?
Your USP is the collection of attributes that make your offering stand out from the rest.  It's NOT a me-too platitude like “service” or “quality”.  It can be price – but only if your unique process or positioning delivers lower cost.  It must be a tangible difference which matters to the customer, simple, and easy to communicate.  It should be hard to copy.

And lastly - unique!

Coming up with a USP baffles many business owners.  How do you differentiate your offering if you're a plumber or electrical contractor?
Well - if you want to see how something that is a commodity by law is differentiated - and how that translates into price - and how to apply that to your business - come to this event.
Get more business tips on our website.

Monday, 18 April 2011

What do your customers really want?

Customers take different things into consideration when they think about buying what you sell.  Some factors will be more important than others – this will vary by customer or by customer category.  You and your competitors will be, or will have the reputation of being, better at delivering some of these factors than others.

If you know how important the different benefits are to different customer groups you can tailor your proposition to each group.  If you know how well you deliver on that benefit then you can work on improving this where necessary.

How do you carry out customer benefit analysis?  Identify your different customer categories. list out all the different benefits each category is looking for (this could be low price, reliability, speed and so forth).  Weight them in order of importance for the customer category and assess how well you deliver the benefit.
If you'd like to know more about the power of customer benefit analysis then this event is for you.
Get more great business tips on our website.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Do you really know who your customers are?

Do you define your market as, say, “consumers” or “SMEs"?  Do you understand why such a definition is pretty useless?

You need to divide your market down further into particular types of customer, for example

o “Owner-managed businesses in the RG postcode with between 5 and 50 employees” or

o “Builders on the local council suppliers list who do not have an internal H&S manager” or

o “Women between 25 and 35 who are fashion-conscious but on a budget.”

- It helps to give them a name – for instance a supermarket chain might categorise some of its customers as “Northern Brand Loyalists” and others as “Sausage-and-mashers”

- A customer category is another way of describing a market niche

Why have customer categories?

- It will help you make decisions about which customers you want – and which you don’t want

o Which customers are more profitable – and which are a nightmare to deal with?

- It will help you understand why those customers choose your product or service – or that of your competitor

o Which benefits are more important to them – and which less?

o How well do you match those desires – and how do you compare with the competition?

- It will help you develop propositions which are tuned to the customers’ requirements – even if the base product or service is the same

- It will help you quickly and easily communicate the type of customer you are looking for

- You should strive to be number 1 or 2 in your market. If you are not big enough to achieve this in the whole market you can focus on a niche (a customer category) where you can be number 1 or 2 and so dominate.

If you'd like to know more about how understanding customers can drive your business growth then this event is for you

See more advice for business owners here

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Top Ten Tips for Using Social Media

Here are the top ten tips that came from a recent IoD meeting in Berkshire:

1. Update your profile on LinkedIn: this is a tool to manage an extended network

for communication and CRM and a valued source of information. It is also a

way for you to establish and build credibility in the marketplace, but beware of

using it to overtly sell.

2. Think of social media as your new PR tool: it is a really cost effective way to

manage PR for a many businesses, but you must take as much care over your

branding and messaging as you would with traditional media. Don’t forget to

check on your own organisation’s house rules on media engagement.

3. Blogging is one of the most effective forms of social media, and it is underutilised

by many organisations. This tool can quickly establish credibility and

provide a more ‘personal’ insight into your organisation, but the golden rule is to

use it consistently e.g. once a week, twice a month.

4. Use social media as a method to manage existing customer relationships –

don’t just see it as a tool for new business generation and in any case recognise

that the cost to your business of attracting new customers is much greater than

retaining existing relationships.

5. Social networking usage can have an apparently positive impact on search

engine optimisation (SEO) and therefore the significance of your website.

6. “Crowd Sourcing” is a social networking enabled phenomenon, whereby

corporate market research can be carried out by posing questions to your

electronic community.

7. Twitter has potential business value due to its real-time nature. People are only

presented with the latest Tweets unless they choose to trawl back though older

ones and therefore it lends itself to “today’s news alerts”.

8. Don’t see social media as a replacement for traditional marketing methods: you

must do both. (One delegate had analysed the cost of generating a lead via

social media as opposed to traditional methods and found that the costs were

broadly similar)

9. The mature generations need to embrace social networking – ignore it at your


10. Keep up to date: look for training courses and don’t be embarrassed by your

lack of knowledge, many people feel the same and you will find that you will

make many new contacts and also learn how to communicate with those

contacts in new ways!

Learn how to raise your game by visiting my website.