When you’re running a business, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your business is, what you can do, and what people like about your brand. This lets you make better decisions, and as you build your business you can lean into those specifics that your customers really like and ensure they’re the dominant characteristics of your business. Today we’re here to help you define your business.
What Can You Do?
Understanding your capacity is an important lesson for business owners, and a key way to understand the kind of business you are. You need to keep a firm grip on just how much work your business can do at its maximum to avoid disappointing clients or burning out staff. Whether your measure is orders filled, customers served in store or clients serviced online, you need to work out the key metrics that define what you’re doing and how much can realistically be achieved in each working hour.
While the peak of productivity is there to be utilised, it’s important not to be spending all your time there, as a business. If you’re pushing your staff to exhaustion, requiring unpaid overtime, and spending all your time at the peak of your capacity then you’re running the risk of burning out your business. The peak should be for peak times only – staff up to allow for slower times allowing for maintenance, research and development projects and some recuperation for your employees.
Finding Your USP
Your USP – unique selling proposition (or point) – is the thing that makes you stand out. The thing that you do differently (and ideally better) than the competition. It’s something you can proactively decide on and communicate to customers, pushing the idea until it occupies a significant chunk of the mindshare available in your market.
The key is to understand your customers – identify who you’re selling to and what they value. Market research can help here. From there, look at the things you can do to stand out from the competition. Specificity is important: you can’t just talk about the quality of your products in general terms. Find a memorable way to embody and demonstrate that quality: think of cooking knives that are advertised carving through metal, or the lifetime guarantee on high quality cookware or handbags.
Consultants can help with competitor wargaming – predicting the actions of your competitors and allowing you to find a unique way to characterise your business that will help you stand out years into the future.