Archive for the ‘9 Challenges Every Successful Business Overcomes’ Category

One of my new favorite shows is a show on “History Channel” called, “American Pickers

I know this is a NOT a new show, but it’s new to ME!

I hadn’t seen it till I “discovered” it this year on Netflix.

Today I want to share with you some insights that I’ve gained from watching the show.

Some of the insights on branding here add to the ideas in my series of blog posts called, “Little-Known Revelations On Branding” and some emphasize concepts from my “9 Challenges Every Successful Business Overcomes“.

Are you ready?  Ok.  Here we go…

First of all, if I told you 5 years ago that a show about two guys driving around the country buying “junk” from people, would be a smash hit, would you have believed me?

No!  You wouldn’t.  Come on.  Let’s be honest.  That doesn’t sound like the formula for a hit show!

But it IS a smash hit for the history channel!  It debuted with 3.1 million viewers and had 5 million viewers for a current episode.

So how did they do it and what can it teach you about business & branding?

Here is how I believe they did it and how you can use the same methods…

Story

The first reason this show is a hit is because it’s not just a show about two guys buying junk from people.  It’s a continuing story of two “treasure hunters.”  And it’s not just the story of inanimate treasures.  It’s the story of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz discovering these amazing people who have lived interesting lives.

But there’s still more to the story than just discovering treasures.  This show also contains the element of suspense and surprise.  You never know where Mike & Frank will end up, who they’ll meet (or if those people will reject them or not), and what they will discover.

There is also an element I’d call “tension and battle.”  Part of the excitement of watching the show is the back and forth negotiating between Mike & Frank and the person they are buying from.

You want to see if Mike & Frank will get a good deal.  You want to see if the person selling it will get a decent price too.  (There’s also this element in the relationships between Mike, Frank, & Danielle).

Look at the list of those elements again.  Do they look familiar?  They should!  They’re the common elements of a good story!

That’s what gives the brand “American Pickers” the ability to draw such a large audience.  People might not care about “picking” or “antiquing” but they can’t resist the power stories!

All powerful brands and businesses have a compelling story.  Think of Apple as an example.

They have two stories: 1) a corporate story and also 2) a human story.  The corporate story that they’ve told is about themselves as an “us against the establishment” company (think of they’re classic “1984” commercial as an example).  Their human story is the story of Steve Jobs (and to some degree the other founders: Steve Wozniak, & Ronald Wayne).

Think about this.  The story of Apple is so closely tied to Steve Jobs (and vice versa) that the recent announcement of his resignation caused people to wonder and question the ability of Apple to continue!

Every powerful brand and business has a compelling story.  Their story is one of the things that causes people to buy from a businesses so they can align themselves with that business, identify themselves with that business, and in a sense “root” for that business.

What’s the story of your business and brand?  You have one whether you realize it or not.   But the question is: have you told it?  Learn from “American Pickers” and tell a compelling story.

But there’s one more lesson you can learn from them.  It’s a lesson that will make your story and your business stand out and become even more compelling. 

Personality

The second reason I believe this show is a success is because they didn’t just put some generic, boring people on the show.  They have people who are interesting and unique and not afraid to be themselves!  

I’m learning more and more that personality is one of the keys to success in life and business.  Think about it.

The people who succeed and standout all have personalities that stand out!  Want examples?  Ok.  Here are just a few off of the top of my head:

  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Jon Stewart
  • Martha Stewart
  • Donald Trump

You might NOT like all of their personalities, but they standout and are successful, because they have unique personalities and let them show!

It’s not just true of people.  It’s true of businesses and brands too.  Some examples:

  • Starbucks
  • In-N-Out
  • McDonalds
  • Chuck E. Cheese

Each of these places stands out in their category because they each have a different personality or feel.  Each of these places have powerful and meaningful brands, because the “personality” that each business embodies is unique and clearly presented!

In fact, I believe that it’s impossible to have a strong brand  if a business doesn’t have a “personality.”   A business without a unique “personality” probably doesn’t even have a brand at all.  They just have, at the most, a logo.

Awnry, Unusual, Or Different

This lesson was reinforced and redefined for me while I was watching one of the “American Pickers” episodes.  Mike & Frank were looking through the collection of a 72 year old picker named “Jerry” and they asked him what his criteria was for the eclectic collection of items he possessed.  

His response grabbed my attention.

I don’t remember his exact words, but he said something to the effect, “Awnryunusual, or different.  If an item is awnryunusual, or different then I pick it.  If it’s not, I don’t.”  

That is what I’ve been trying to say here.

The success of this show (and your business) is based on it being awnry (see definition #1, description 1 0r 2)unusual, or different.

On “American Pickers”, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby-Cushman are completely unique from they way they look, talk, dress, and even carry themselves.  They’re awnry, unusual, or different!  And many of the people they meet and display on their show can be described the same way.

The combination of powerful stories and unique personalities is what gives “American Pickers” so much success.  It’s one of the keys to success in your business too.

Practicing What I Preach

I am going to show you how to do this by applying these things in my own business.  That’s what you’ll be seeing next in my upcoming posts.

You’ll SEE me do what you need to do.  How will I do this?

I’m going to begin to tell you the REAL story of who I am. You’ll see how I became an “out of the cube” business strategist and business recession solution expert.

I’m going to tell my story – with no hype but with all the crazy, true details that will include:

  • A childhood kidnapping
  • An alcoholic father
  • A martial artist
  • A wanna-be cartoonist
  • How my biggest fear became my biggest strength
  • A rapper
  • A pastor

I know it sounds like a list of random things, but you’ll see how this all goes together and makes sense when you read my story in my upcoming posts.

P.S.  My next post will be “Business & Life Lessons From The Day I Was Kidnapped (A True Story).”  Stay tuned.

———————————————————-
*P.S. If you’d like to sign-up to be informed whenever I write a blog postand you’d like to hear more ideas and info from me, then sign-up here…

CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP FOR MY “RECESSION SOLUTION BLOG” UPDATE LIST

P.P.S.  If you liked this post, please click the appropriate button below to share it with others.  And as usual post any comments, questions, etc. below!

In this series of posts I’ve been focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.

This is my final post in this series.  These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.

I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.

Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.

Let’s look at the ninth challenge and final challenge that I’ll be talking about in this series.

9. You need to add new customers or reinstate former ones.

There is a local restaurant in a small strip mall that is very popular with senior citizens.  I don’t know how or why it’s become popular with this niche, but it has. 

I was just driving by it the other day and realized that if they don’t add new customers to their business, then eventually all of those customers will no longer be around and able to eat there

I don’t mean this to be morbid, but since this business deals with people in the later stages of life they will eventually lose all the customers they have.

But before you think, “Yeah, they better do something about that!”  It applies to YOU and YOUR business too.

What this business and ALL businesses need to do is to add new customers or reinstate former customers.

Why?  Because of a simple fact:
No matter what you do, no matter how great you are, and how great your product or service is, you will eventually lose customers. 

Why?  There are many reasons, but here are a few:

  • Your customers move out of town.  They no longer live close enough to make buying from you feasible.  If someone moves to another state they’re not going to use your gas station anymore. 
  • Your customers no longer need your product or service.  They are in another stage of life.  A parent whose child grows up and moves away no longer needs your child daycare service.
  • Your customers had a bad experience with your customer service or with your product or service.  If someone has a bad experience with your product or service they could easily decide to just stop doing business with you – without ever letting you know.  But if they do come to your business with their complaint and don’t know feel like they were taken care of properly then they will also be gone. 
  • Your customer dies.  This is a fact of life.  Sooner or later all of your customers will be dead.  That is not good for your business unless you’re a funeral director!

Do you see why I say that no matter what you do and how good you are you WILL eventually lose customers?

The mistake that many businesses make is they begin to rely and expect their current clients/customers to always be around.

They don’t do anything to ensure that they will be around.  They just expect them to be.

They don’t do much to gain new customers, because they assume they’re ok with the amount of customers they have.

Successful business aren’t foolish enough to believe these lies!

Successful business do everything they can to continually add new customers.  They set up systems and programs to do this on “auto-pilot”.

Successful business do everything they can to make things right with any customer who feel like their business has let them down.

Successful business keep a relationship going with their current customers and don’t take them for granted or just assume they’ll always be around.

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then you have to do the same

You have to remember you always need to add new customers or reinstate former ones..  That’s your 9th challenge.

This is the last post in this “9 Challenges That Every Successful Business Overcomes”.  I hope you have enjoyed it and that it’s helped you to think of challenges you might not have thought of or realized. 

(You can click on the “Category” called “9 Challenges Every Successful Business Overcomes” in the right side bar to read any of the posts you missed.)

My New “9Cs Business Success System”
I am currently working and developing something I’m calling “The 9Cs Business Success System”
that will give business owners a system they can implement to address and overcome each of these 9 challenges that are common to all businesses.

If you’re interested in more info about it and when it will be available, then email at recessionsolution (at) gmail.com.

What are your thoughts about this ninth challenge?  Post them in the comments.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What has your experience been with this challenge?

Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!

Click here to post this on Facebook!
Click here to tweet about this on Twitter!
(*Here’s the shorter version of the link -if you need it –
http://wp.me/pfeEX-aV)

Oh yeah!  And speaking of twitter…

You are following my NEW account on Twitter right?  :)
If not, you can now follow me @rampbusinesses.

If you enjoyed this post, spread the word! Link to it. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Send smoke signals… Thanks. :)

In this series of posts I am focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.

I will post one of these challenges every week. These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.

I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.

Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.

Let’s look at the eighth challenge every successful business overcomes.

In my last post, I talked about the fact that if you only sell to each customer one time, you’re going to have a really hard time staying in business!

Because of this fact, I said the 7th challenge was getting customers to buy from you a second time.

But let’s be real.

Having customers buy from you a second time is needed and important, but if they only purchase from you twice, then you’ve only delayed the stress and struggle you would’ve had if they only purchased from you once.

After that second purchase, you’ll still be back to the problem of needing to find new prospects to convince to become your customers so you can keep your business open.  There’s another challenge after that second purchase and it’s this…

8. You need to get your customers to buy from you regularly and create raving fans.

Getting customers to purchase from you regularly does some really important and transformational things.  It creates a stream of income from each customer instead of just a small surge of income.  It creates financial stability in your business.

And not only that, it gives you the chance to build strong relationships with your customers, so that they become fans and THEY spread the word about you and your business to others.

Think of any successful business whether it’s a “mom and pop” diner or a big company like Apple.

This is how they are stable in or out of a recession.  They have people who keep re-purchasing because they were so satisfied and happy the first time.

They have people who purchase new things from them, because they love that past product and the experience so much.

They have people who will tell anybody and everybody how great their business is because they’re so pleased with it.

This gives them a stable income AND new customers!

The second purchase is important, because you have to have that second one for your customers to become “regulars”.  But you have to move your customers from purchase number two to regular purchasers!

What are some of the things it takes to do this?  Here are a few of things:

  • You need to have a product that is continually needed, or you need to create “add ons” or new products and services to sell.
  • You have to have something great and unique about product or service to cause them to want to buy it again instead of some similar product or service.
  • You need great customer service before, during and after each sale. You have to treat your customers in such an amazing way that it will make them want to come back to your business instead of others.
  • You need to have a consistent experience that you provide your customers each time they interact with you.  If it’s a great experience the first time and a lousy experience the second time, guess what the chances are of them becoming a “regular”?

Let me just talk a little more about the first thing I mentioned…

A common problem many businesses have is that they don’t have other products or services to sell after the first or second purchase.

If you don’t have a more products or services to sell, or ones that need to be repurchased, then you’ll never overcome this challenge.

To be honest with you, I’ve had this problem myself.

In one of the niches I’m involved in I sell an ebook and that’s it.  I haven’t offered anything else.  Recently I offered a special sale and had a previous customer purchase the same ebook again.

I emailed him and told him that it wasn’t a new product.  I told him it was the one he already bought a year ago and offered him a refund.  He wrote back and thanked me and told me he thought it was a new ebook.

What does that reveal? It reveals that this person was just waiting for me to offer something else for them to buy!  I decided from that moment on that I would create new ebooks and products in this niche.

What about your business?  How many customers are waiting and willing to buy from you again, but they’re just waiting for you to offer a follow-up product or service?

Successful businesses that overcome this 8th challenge have “regular” customers who continually come back and purchase from them.

Not only that, they have FANS who spread the word and bring in new customers to those businesses.  Word of mouth is the most powerful form of promotion you can use.  Plus, it’s a low-cost or no cost way to grow your business!

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then you have to have “fans” who purchase from you regularly.  That’s your 8th challenge.

Next, I’ll post the 9th and final Challenge that every successful business overcomes.  Stay tuned.  I’m trying to post them every week, but sometimes.. it’s more like every other!  :)

In the meantime, if you have thoughts about this eighth challenge you want to share, then post them in the comments.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What has your experience been with this challenge?

Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!

Click here to post this on Facebook!
Click here to tweet about this on Twitter!
(*Here’s the shorter version of the link -if you need it –http://wp.me/pfeEX-aF)

Oh yeah!  And speaking of twitter…

You are following my NEW account on Twitter right?  :)
If not, you can now follow me @rampbusinesses.

If you enjoyed this post, spread the word! Link to it. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Send smoke signals… Thanks. :)

In this series of posts I am focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.

I will post one of these challenges every week.  These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.

I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.

Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.

Let’s look at the seventh challenge every successful business overcomes.

7. You need to get customers to buy a second time.

If you only sell to each customer one time, you’re going to have a really hard time staying in business!

Why?  Because you’re going to have to constantly find new prospects to convince to become your customers just to keep your business open.

They say there are only 3 ways to make money in business:

1. Get more people to buy.
2. Get people to buy more.
3. Or get them to buy more often.

*Most business owners focus most – if not all – of their time on number 1: Getting more people to buy.

But the fact is that it’s easier to sell to someone who’s already bought from you (and is happy with the service or product), then it is to sell to someone who’s never bought from you.

In Volume one, page 22, of my e-manual, Alex Mandossian says it like this…

“We direct marketers must never forget that our biggest moneymaking opportunities lie in our customer lists, not our prospect or suspect lists.  Selling more stuff to existing customers is easier and more profitable!!”

Did you hear that!?!
Selling more stuff to existing customers is easier and more profitable!

That means that out of the 3 ways your business can make more money, number 2 and number 3 are easier ways to increase your income, than number 1 is!

But you know what?
Most business owners are focused on doing number 1 – the harder work!

And just so I’m clear…

This isn’t about tricking your customers to buy more from you.

This is about focusing on people who you’ve already helped and already have relationship with, and finding ways to help them again and again and again!

Some amazing results will happen when you focus on helping your customers get better or more of the results they’re looking for when they purchase from you.

1. You’ll feel better about your business and yourself.

2. Your customers will feel better about your business.  That means they’ll come back again and recommend you to friends.

3. Your business will do better financially.  You will naturally be able to get people to buy more – or more often – because they know you’re taking car of them!

Successful businesses that overcome this 7th challenge are very good at doing things that encourage customers to come back and buy from them again – and again.

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then you have to do the same thing.

Next, I’ll post the 8th Challenge that every successful business overcomes.  Stay tuned.  I’m trying to post them every week, but sometimes.. it’s more like every other!  :)

In the meantime, if you have thoughts about this seventh challenge you want to share, then post them in the comments.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What has your experience been with this challenge?

Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!

Click here to post this on Facebook!
Click here to tweet about this on Twitter!
(*Here’s the shorter version of the link -if you need it – http://wp.me/pfeEX-an)

Oh yeah!  And speaking of twitter…

You are following my NEW account on Twitter right?  :)
If not, you can now follow me @rampbusinesses.

If you enjoyed this post, spread the word! Link to it. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Send smoke signals… Thanks. 🙂

In this series of posts I am focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.

I will post one of these challenges every week.  These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.

I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.

Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.

Let’s look at the sixth challenge every successful business overcomes.

6. You need to get your prospects to take the step and buy from you for the first time.

This is the sticking point and the main problem for most businesses, isn’t it?

One of the hardest things to do is to get a prospect to take the “risk” and buy from you for the first time!  

Why is getting prospects to buy from you for the first time so difficult?

There’s ONE main reason…

They are afraid! 

They’re afraid of wasting their money.   But that’s not all!

Your prospects are unsure of what they need or want. 
Your prospects are not sure your product or service is the best choice (for value, effectiveness, reliability, etc.).  

They’re afraid to buy from you and then look/feel stupid afterwards! 
They’re afraid your product won’t fulfill their need/desire.

You might not think about it, but there is a degree of risk that your prospects are taking in buying from you.  You didn’t realize doing business with you could be so scary, huh?  🙂

The smaller the risk/consequences (in their minds), the easier it will be to cross the line and buy from you for the first time.

Think about it…

There are common/easy purchases (low cost/small consequences) you make all the time: buying gas, a candy bar, lunch, etc.

There are also uncommon/difficult purchases that you make like: buying a car, a house, etc.  Why are they so uncommon and difficult?  That’s because they have higher costs and consequences!

Where does your product or service fall on this continuum?

Low Cost/Small Consequences =>=>Higher Costs & Consequences

The more your product or service falls to the right of this continuum, the more difficult it will be to get your prospects to “cross the line”  and buy from you the first time.

Are you wondering why you’re having more problems nowadays when your product/service falls closer to the left of this continuum?

Well, I hate to tell you this but… in a recession or “down economy” even the “Low Cost/Small Consequences” products and services move closer to the right of the continuum in people’s minds. 

That’s because people have less income to risk.  Even smaller purchases suddenly have a greater “risk”!

What can you do to encourage prospects to buy from you for the first time?

Here are two quick things:

1. Lower the risk for your prospects to make that first purchase.  Maybe that means lowering your price or creating a smaller/cheaper “intro” version of your product or service.  Maybe that means increasing and amplifying your guarantee.

2. Make the reward that you offer greater than the risk that they’re taking to try out your business.  This could be done through “bonuses” or additional services or products that you give to new customers.

Successful businesses that overcome this 6th challenge are very effective at making the first purchase as easy and risk-free as possible.

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then you have to do the same thing.

*What can you do TODAY to make it EASY/RISK-FREE (and maybe even fun!) for a prospect to make their first purchase from you?

Next, I’ll post the 7th Challenge that every successful business overcomes.  Stay tuned.  I’m trying to post them every week, but sometimes.. it’s more like every other!  🙂

In the meantime, if you have thoughts about this sixth challenge you want to share, then post them in the comments.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What has your experience been with this challenge?

Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!

Click here to post this on Facebook!
Click here to tweet about this on Twitter!
(*Here’s the shorter version of the link -if you need it – http://wp.me/pfeEX-a5)

Oh yeah!  And speaking of twitter…

You are following my NEW account on Twitter right?  🙂
If not, you can now follow me @rampbusinesses.

If you enjoyed this post, spread the word!

In this series of posts I am focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.

I will post one of these challenges every week.  These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.

I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.

Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.

Let’s look at the fifth challenge every successful business overcomes.

5. They need to remember you exist when they need what you offer.

There is a major problem that most business owners don’t consider…

Many prospects won’t buy immediately from you. Why not?  There are many reasons.  Here are just a few:

  • They might want to look around.
  • They might want to check you out on http://www.Yelp.com.
  • They might not have the money or a strong enough need/desire to buy.
  • They’ve never heard of you before and want to get “used to” the idea of buying from you.
  • They just might be in a hurry and not have the time to purchase today!

The problem this causes is that they have to remember that you/your business exists when they finally need/want what you offer!

You might be thinking about your business every day, but your  prospects aren’t!

And I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t just true of prospects. It’s true of your customers!

They can purchase from you, but when they have the same need/desire again they might not think of your business first – or at all! The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is true about your customers too.

I’ve seen many local restaurants and businesses close down recently.  Some I have shopped at.  Some I haven’t.  But you know what my first reaction was when I saw the “Out of Business” sign?

My reaction was, “Oh yeah!  I forgot they were over there.” Do you want a more concrete example?  Here’s one…

There was a local steakhouse that closed recently.  When I drove by and saw the building was vacant I realized that I NEVER thought about eating there when I was thinking of a place to go out to.

I totally forgot they were there.  And I like steak!  🙂

I bet the restaurant owners never realized this.  They just thought people were choosing not to eat at their restaurant.  In reality there were probably many people that didn’t even have them on their radar screen!

You have to come up with ways to help your prospects and your customers remember your business.  You have to come up with ways to get them in a HABIT of purchasing from you.

One of the simplest, and commonly overlooked, ways of doing this is by getting their contact information and contacting them regularly.

Many business owners don’t have any prospect or customer lists.

But do you know what is even crazier and also common? 
There’s another segment of business owners have these lists and never use them!?!

Once you create these lists you need to USE them!

You need to use these lists to give value, content, build relationships, and give incentives for them to come purchase from you – for the first time,  for the second… of thirtieth time!  🙂

Successful businesses that overcome this 5th challenge are very effective at making themselves memorable.

They know how to build favorable opinions and attitudes about their business.  They know how to build relationships of value.  They know how to gain “mind share” in the prospects’ and customers’ minds.

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then you have to do the same thing.

You have to come up with ways to help your prospects and customers remember you when they’re ready to buy!

Next, I’ll post the 6th Challenge that every successful business overcomes.  Stay tuned.  I’m trying to post them every week, but sometimes.. it’s more like every other.  🙂

In the meantime, if you have thoughts about this fifth challenge you want to share, then post them in the comments.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What has your experience been with this challenge?

Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!

Click here to post this on Facebook!
Click here to tweet about this on Twitter!
(*Here’s the shorter version of the link -if you need it – http://wp.me/pfeEX-9J)

Oh yeah!  And speaking of twitter…

I finally decided to create separate twitter accounts. Tweeting about all of different arenas I’m involved in from one  account was just too confusing.

You can now follow me @rampbusinesses!

In this series of posts I am focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.

I will post one of these challenges every week.  These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.

I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.

Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.

Let’s look at the fourth challenge every successful business overcomes.

4. Your prospects need to know why they should choose your business over other businesses that offer the same product or service.

In the last challenge, we talked about why you need to make it very CLEAR why it matters to your prospects that your business exists.  You need to make the benefits and end results that you offer them extremely obvious.

But what about all the other businesses that are in the same category as yours?  Your prospects have to know WHY/HOW your business is different/better than any of the other choices.

I have two situations for you to imagine to help you see the need for this…

SITUATION #1

Imagine that you’re thirsty and want to buy a bottle of water.  Now imagine a whole crowd of people who all look and sound the similar.  They even are dressed similar.  They are all yelling your name, holding up water bottles, and telling you they have what you want!

Which one are you going to choose? It’s hard to decide isn’t it?  It’s actually pretty confusing.  You’ll probably pick the closest and/or the loudest one.

SITUATION #2

Now imagine the same situation and the same crowd yelling out the same things.  But suddenly you look closer at the crowd and you see one guy who is dressed differently.

He’s yelling your name too, but he’s saying something different. He’s telling you that his water is chilled at exactly 40ºF to make it extremely refreshing.  He tells you that the others are just at room temperature.

He also tells you that his water comes from a pure spring at the top of a mountain and is filtered to get out any impurities, but still maintains the important minerals your body needs.  He also mentions that all of the others are just bottled and filtered tap water.

He tells you that his water is priced at the same as the others, but that the it will be much more refreshing and helpful for your body.

Which one are you going to choose now? The one guy who’s different!

Why?  Because you know why/how what he is offering is different and better than the others!

This is what it’s like when we don’t make it clear to our prospects why/how we’re different from the competition.

I was driving through my city and saw a van with a generic sign on their door that just said, “Air conditioning and heating service” and it had a phone number on the sign that you could call.

I couldn’t believe that was all it said!

Did they think someone who needed that service was going to see the van a scream, “YES!  I finally found an A/C and heating service!” and then call them right away?

It a small town, with no competition for miles around, that might work, but not in most areas nowadays!

Why didn’t this guy have at least a name on his A/C & heating sign?  Something at least like “Steve Smith’s A/C & Heating service”.

Better yet, why didn’t this guy ALSO  have something on the sign that explained how his service was unique.  “We offer the guaranteed best priced services that are fully guaranteed for 1 year!”

That would’ve been much more powerful and attractive to prospects looking for his services.  My prediction is that he won’t be in business for very much longer.

Successful businesses make it very clear that their businesses are different than the competition.  They clearly spell out how their product or service is better/different.

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then prospects must know how you’re different than other businesses selling the same things.

Next week I’ll post the 5th Challenge that every successful business overcomes.

In the meantime, if you have thoughts about this fourth challenge you want to share, then post them in the comments.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What has your experience been with this first challenge?

Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!

Click here to post this on Facebook!
Click here to tweet about this on Twitter!
(*Here’s the shorter version of the link -if you need it http://wp.me/pfeEX-9A)

If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then prospects must know