Monday, August 22, 2005

What's Your Market Hungriest For?

By meeting your (paying) customer’s needs consistently, you’ve conquered more than half the battle in business success. This may sound pretty basic, and just plain ol’ common sense. But I’ve noticed that common sense isn’t always common practice.

In other words - folks may KNOW what to do, but unless they put it into ACTION, it’s just a good idea with potential.

Ask yourself this: What is your market hungriest for? More responsive or faster customer service…a greater selection of products/services…making it easier to buy your product or service – maybe having the option to purchase online at their convenience.

Take a half hour to an hour, and think about these things. Or better yet (if its possible), be your own customer, and go shopping at your own physical store or website. Then you’ll see if the buying experience with your company is as good as you think it is.

I’ll admit it does take some extra effort, and time from your schedule to do this. However, the time and effort you put in now will reap bigger dividends later. Especially when you hit your busy season, and you may be scrambling just to keep your head above water.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Your USP, Part II

On my last post, I explained what a Unique Selling Proposition is, and why your business needs to have one. Now, I’ll explain what mine is in the marketplace.

What makes me stand part from other copywriters/marketing consultants, is having an accounting, investing AND copywriting/marketing background. I’ve worked as an accountant/financial analyst in the corporate world for 9+ years, and passed the CPA Exam.

I’ve also profitably invested in tax lien certificates and stock options. I made over 22.2% in 18 months on a Jefferson County, Colorado tax lien I bought and sold…and 1,232% in 10 days on a stock option. That’s an accurate number - not a typo (I know it sounds too good to be true) - and I’ve got the trade record to prove it.

With this investing “grand slam” that I hit, there was some good fortune involved. But if I weren’t financially literate (able to accurately read and interpret a financial statement), I wouldn’t have put myself in position to make this profit.

On top of this, I’ve been involved with a couple of start-up companies, and learned some valuable lessons about what you should – and shouldn’t – do in starting a business.

These skills, along with the ability to sell in print, make for a unique USP.

Now it’s your turn to develop your USP. Think about the things you like. Maybe it’s a sport, like golf, baseball, or racquetball. Or a hobby like collecting baseball cards…investing in stocks, options or real estate…quilting….restoring antique cars.

It could be something like exercise or health & nutrition, and a specialized niche of either. It could be for kids, people in middle age, or seniors.

This exercise might be difficult for some of you at first. If it is, think back to what you liked when you were growing up. Or think back over your career – what industries have you worked in, or liked working in? And what tasks did you love to do?

It may not come to you overnight. But it’s necessary for your personal satisfaction, and business profitability.