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It’s easy to underestimate the work involved in running a business. Cash flow and stock management can cause sleepless nights, not to mention the need to justify your pricing to customers who are shopping around for the best quote. According to Jane Anderson who is a personal branding expert, in an article from winter 2015 issue of ‘Inside Small Business’ Magazine competition can also be a headache, especially if you are competing with a company overseas who can do the same job as you for $5 per hour. As a result, you may be questioning if it is really worth it, and considering throwing in the towel and going back to a full-time job.
So, how do you get out of this cycle?
Well it’s all about positioning.
Positioning is what sets you apart from your competitors in your field and also about the perception that a customer has about you and your business. The fact of the matter is that if you aren’t positioned effectively then you may become a tube of toothpaste on a supermarket shelf – just looking the same as everyone else. As a result, you may just end up competing on price only.
How do you create good positioning?
If you’re a service provider, you are what makes your business different. People buy you and also refer you.
For example, if you are a health practitioner, beauty therapist, photographer, graphic designer, accountant or personal trainer there are plenty of other people out there who do what you do. Therefore you need to stand out from the crowd or you will risk coming across as boring, bland and basic, with the only differentiator being price.
It’s a bit like being a magnet – you either repel or attract your ideal client.
There are so many things to make this all work effectively, but in my experience, there are some key areas that require your attention in order to effectively position your business.
People buy from people. Therefore, make it easy for people to access you as a person – rather than just a business name. Remember, what you are makes you different in the market. Going forward, yourname.com gives you flexibility to grow and evolve your business in the future.
Share your thought leadership. What insights and experiences have you had that help your potential clients get to know you and your perspective? Blogs, articles for publications, newsletters, whitepapers and your book are all tools to position yourself in the market. Content is king and is the growth hub of your business.
Help people to hear you by giving presentations and video blogs to targeted groups. Also, don’t be shy about inviting people to refer clients to you. Let them decide whether they can trust you with their clients.
Make it easy
Consider your website content, auto responders, webinars and scheduling tools to make it easy for clients to start a conversation with you.
Be Brand You
Get professional photos taken and put your face on your newsletters, website and social media. The more people recognise you, the more they will remember you. It’s not about being self-centred; it’s about you being helpful.
By making some small and consistent changes you can create a profitable business and stand out from others in the marketplace. You can work with your dream clients, achieve fulfilment and live the lifestyle that having your own business creates.
The Business Enterprise Centre is a community based not-for-profit organisation established to foster the growth of business within the Central West of NSW. We are managing agents for the NSW government Small Biz connect Program, Australian Government ASBAS and NEIS program. To find out how we can assist your business contact the BEC on 63620448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org