On the last episode I talked about the importance of research and what I want to do is dig deeper into that topic over this and the future episodes, too.
First of all, what are the key areas to research when you want to build a successful business and what kind of questions should you be asking…
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The Top 3 Areas To Research
These are important because when you actually love what you’re doing, everything gets easier – for you and for your clients. The results get better also, and that is after all what everyone wants, right? That’s what we’re paying for – not for the coaching or for a product but for the results those enable us to gain.
I published the Gold Medals & Marketing book on Kindle last week and there’s in fact a worksheet that’s asking these questions and so many more. Those questions will help you to really dig into this.
So here’s what you want to know, though it’s a big question:
Why does your business do what it does?
Next you must look at the marketplace:
What does the overall landscape look like, if you think about it as a city: Where do you spot the green grass, or at least some soil between the overly crowded skyscrapers?
And then you want to find out if there’s something you need to know about that spot.
Perhaps there are some special requirements to meet, licensing issues, constant neighborhood complaints, or maybe it’s actually a piece of rotten wasteland?
This all certainly applies to online business as well and you must figure out why the spot is vacant before you start building on it.
Studying your competition is definitely a part of this research, but make sure you’re looking at the right things. Instead of just studying their products inside and out you want to know their business model, how they differentiate, what makes them attractive to clients and most importantly:
How could you turn your competition into an ally instead?
And then of course – well, this is if you already have a business:
What’s working and what’s not?
Where does the revenue generate from and what actions bring it in?
What is the sales conversion and the ROI?
What is the lifetime value of a customer?
You know, the biggest successes are not necessarily the best, most awesome and innovative products and services. Instead they are the ones that are marketed best.
Marketing as an industry rises a lot of opinions for and against. Some folks see it as sleaziness and they feel that it’s all about the money, and the money has the tendency to spoil all things good. You probably know some of these people.
What those people don’t realize is that marketing can also do a lot of good. Basically it’s just about explaining the possibilities and benefits of the matter or the cause, instead of just stating the facts, because not all people understand the consequences of a fact unless someone explains it to them.
The way of the world these days is that money is involved with pretty much everything – one way or another. We cannot really help that, can we.
But what we CAN do is to use what we know to make a difference.
For instance a while ago I wrote a marketing letter to a board that was deciding on whether to close a school or keep it open because of some funding issues.
For now that awesome little school is safe and the kids who go there have a wonderful environment that supports their growth. This was because I explained in that letter all the threads they would face if the school gets closed: Health issues, environmental hazards caused by the increasing traffic and so on. (Obviously I can’t take all the credit, but definitely some of it!)
Long term effects from short term savings. Those would actually cost a lot more in the long term than what they were thinking to save now.
I did this even though I don’t even have kids and I really had nothing to gain there. But I felt it was just really important, besides there were so many reasonable grounds to back it up, only someone needed to put them in writing.
What I wanted to say with this story is that if your list of strengths does not include marketing, you should do something about it. Either you learn how to do it or you pay someone else who can help you. But you have to embrace it, not despise it, because every business success depends on it, that, and the ability to sell your products and services.
Right now I want to leave you with another big, often quite difficult question to answer:
Why will your business be successful?
If you have the answer already, great! If you don’t, you should do some research.