This is the first of a 3 post series to help you get set up if you are not already set up. If you are set up, you are welcome to follow along. First things first, you need to get focused and so you have a good idea of where you are going. The same way you go to Google Maps for directions when going to a new destination, you need a roadmap that will serve as a guide for getting ahead.
These posts are activity posts which mean, I hope you have pen and paper working through the actions identified here. This will prepare you for the next step.
TOOLS YOU NEED:
- A New Notebook
- Pen and Pencil
- Peace and Quiet to Think
- The Internet to Research
ACTION#1 – Know where you stand
Take time to answer these 5 questions to help zero in on your focus.
- What Product or Service do you want to provide? Describe it. This applies whether you wan to go into business for yourself or you are looking for employment. Describe what you have to offer.
- Who is your ideal customer? Describe this individual as a person not an idea. What is their name, their age, thier occupation, their likes and dislikes etc
- What solution will your product or service provide to your ideal customer? Note that I said ‘solution’. You should be meeting a desire or a need.
- How will your Customer find you?
- Who are your competitors and how do they compare?
- What initial investment are you willing to put in? (time, financial resources if applicable etc)
ACTION#2 – Identify your edge
This action is to identify a feature or benefit that your competitor has not marketed to your ideal customer as its edge or where you do have a leg up against your competitor. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You can’t be known for everything so you need to take a stand on something specific that your business will be known for. The idea of a USP came from Rosser Reevers, an advertising executive. He identified three main ideas that should go into creating a USP.
- Your proposition should tell the Customer “Buy this product and you get this benefit”.
- Your proposition must be unique — something that your competitors do not, cannot or will not offer.
- Your proposition must sell — it must be something prospects really want; it pulls them over to your product.
Below are three articles with examples that will help you identify your USP.
- Top 10 Unique Selling Propostions
- The Smart Way to Answer “Why should I buy from you”
- 10 Value Propositions you wish you had
ACTION#3 – Define your Goals
This action is where you identify 3 to 5 goals you will like to achieve and strategies for how you plan to achieve them. As a recommendation, set at least 2 strategies for each goal. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (S.M.A.R.T). For this exercise do not set goals beyond a year. Do one year, 3 months and 30 days goals with strategies.
Congratulations. You have put some definition around what you want and where you want to be. You will continue to refine this as you go. What’s important is that you have put some thought into your journey and now have milestones to measure against.