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So, Who are You?

Defining your business

The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you. - Karl Jung

Probably the author was writing this to speak to an individual. And while it is most appropriate to any person, it most definitely applies to your business.

During one of the presentations this speaker and writer gives to the SHOT show, the audience is asked to create several lists. The first is to define their business. The second is to define their competition. Question number three is to define the difference between their business and the competition.

As the audience works to create these three lists, they are asked to count how many items are on each list. And without sharing their results with the rest of the audience, this question is asked.

"If your first list, the points about your business, and the third list, the difference in you and your competition, are both short lists, how long of a list do you think your customer could make if asked these same questions?

Most agree that a customer's list would be much shorter than the list created by any dealer in the audience. The point of this exercise?

We have to work hard to tell our customers who we are. To do so, with the business operating from a store front, it begins with an attractive exterior. Even if your business is "Dan's Discount Gun and Hunting Supplies Emporium", no one want to shop in an ugly store. They may accept an ugly store, but give them an attractive store and it has been shown time and again that they will spend more.

They want to see clean floors, a well lit sales floor, attractive displays, and when they pick up an item from your shelf, they don't want to have to blow the dust off the container to see the price tag.

"Good Morning. Can I help you?"

While that statement is the most frequent one given to customers, it will not work if we want to stand out Over 80% of customers report they cannot distinguish one business from another.

Think about the next 10 customers that walk into your shop. This statistic means that 8 of these these 10 people see no difference in buying their hunting supplies at your shop, another gun shop, or the local Wal-Mart. Even if you say that you are a gunsmith and most other shops are not, are you willing to "hang your name" on that one point of difference?

There are also several differences that you are most like going to concede to the competition. Look at the extended hours that many of the mass merchants have. Even if you are open 24 hours a day, you have only matched the hours of some of the competition.

Even if the statement is a simple, "Did you get anything this morning?". And you follow it with a sincere pause, you are opening the door for your business to join that less than 20% group of different merchants.

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This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.

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