THE BLOG

How to Set Your Small Business’s Priorities

This post is an excerpt from our eBook, Critical Priorities: The 7 Key Areas Every Business Owner Must Prioritize. Get your free copy today!

If you're a business owner, you probably come up with a new idea for your business every five minutes. But sometimes these creative sparks are more distracting than they are helpful. If this is your struggle, it's essential that you have a process of how to set your priorities and stick to them.

Imagine...

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3 Reasons You Need to Sharpen Your Mission and Vision

mission strategy Mar 18, 2019

Yes, I can hear you groaning from my quarantine bunker…

Some owners may find defining their mission and vision to be a waste of time, reserved for consultants at high-end companies. Or they may have done this years ago and the end product is gathering dust on a plaque somewhere.

But in this time of economic and social...

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The Dangers of Customer Concentration

sales strategy Mar 07, 2018

When our business is doing well, it’s easy to just enjoy the ride and ignore dangers lurking below the surface. But those dangers can emerge at the worst times to deliver damaging blows to our growth, our revenue, and our overall success.

“Customer concentration” refers to the amount of your revenue that relies on a single client. Usually, a business is said to have too much customer concentration if more than 10% of its revenue is reliant on one single client...

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Creative Solutions & Japanese Trains

innovation strategy Feb 07, 2018

We’re all aware of the value of creative solutions. Creativity has always been, and always will be, vital to business success. But a lot of us are content to use one out-of-the-box idea every once in a while and call it “creativity.”

In a guest column for FortuneBarbara Dyer, CEO of the Hitachi Foundation, suggests that creativity should be fostered as part of company culture, not just something to turn to when all other ideas fail. When...

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Love Song Marketing: Know Your Specific Buyer

Every Song Has A Story:

What’s your favorite love song? Almost everyone has one; whether it reminds you of your high school sweetheart or the first dance at your wedding, love songs hold a special place in our hearts.

Billboard Magazine, the “bible” of the music industry, recently named their Top 50 love songs of all time. While most songs on the list are beloved and well known, no doubt some of them were written without real love in mind – that is, from a...

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Mission Match: Do Your Values Align?

strategy Jun 07, 2016

The most powerful part of aligning yourself with a potential prospect is communicating your company’s mission and values. You should communicate what your company hopes to achieve by working with the prospect in a simple, concise way. When communicating your mission, sharpen your position and speak about the value in your offering in the overall context of your business.

Author Jackie Woodside says this about communicating your...

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The Johari Window: Uncovering the Blind Spots in Business

entrepreneurship strategy Mar 01, 2016

How self-aware is your company? Identify blind spots in your business, leadership, and customer relationships by using the Johari Window Model. Here's how.

Successful businesses (just like successful leaders) possess self-awarenessbut how do you know if you are really seeing yourself clearly? How do you build self-awareness into the DNA of your company? When we consult business owners, we use the Johari Window Model to do just that.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Johari Window...

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What Is a Value Proposition, and Why Should You Care?

At the core of all businesses—underneath the bustle of the day-to-day operations, behind the buzzing new marketing efforts—is a value proposition. Before you roll your eyes and say "Got it, Mr. Value Prop Man", let me ask you:

Tell me in one sentence why anyone should buy X from you at Y price. 

And if you can do that, let me challenge you a little more: Would your customers believe your competitors could say the same thing?

You see, your value proposition is more than a...

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What’s Really Driving Your Customer to Buy?

(Image Courtesy Dominik Bartsch on Flickr)

Deal drivers are the things that your prospect (and marketplace) has articulated as being of greatest importance in making a buying decision. It may be price, ease-of-use, performance, support, or a range of other factors. It’s important to note that the deal drivers are very different than requirements; these are the desires of either the company or the specific buyer with which you are dealing.

Bob Apollo, founder if the...

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The Actionable SWOT Analysis

strategy Jan 22, 2013

Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. Yes, we’ve all sat through a SWOT exercise or two (or three). Much has been written about the SWOT analysis as a business strategy tool since it first appeared in the 1960s.  

As of late, the SWOT has fallen into disfavor in certain consulting circles.  Certainly, there’s no business tool that’s right for every business or situation, but I believe the SWOT still has its uses. The point of this post,...

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