Stories and insights to help you improve your business.
Whether you’re a startup or you’ve been around for years, talking to your customers is a critical practice. It provides a level of insight into your business that you can’t get through surveys and analytics alone.
The 10X Rule for innovation sets a bar that’s simple to understand but very difficult to achieve. The rule roughly states that in order for customers to switch from a current behavior, they need a new option that’s 10X better.
As business owners, we all make assumptions about how our customers think and feel. But when those assumptions are wrong, customers will struggle to see the value of our offering.
Why it’s critical to understand who your business is competing against.
One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is maximizing the use of your time.
As a founder you never get a nice, contained list of responsibilities to focus on. Instead you get one massive list titled: “Do everything to keep the business going”.
To be effective at attracting and converting customers for your business, it’s important to understand how they think about the price of your offering.
There are lots of factors around price that influence a customer’s decision to make a purchase.
At this point, we’ve been fully saturated with content about the latest batch of phones. We’ve seen the presentations, read the articles, watched the videos, and listened to the podcasts. The product features have been dissected and folks are working hard to exploit all of their flaws.
No matter how you choose to define your strategy, there are common elements that every business needs to account for in some way. These elements impact the success of your business whether you realize it or not.
It’s easy to see how if you were to jump straight to writing messages, you’d have a pretty difficult time coming up with effective ideas around how to communicate.
This step helps you look at your product or service specifically through the lens of the problem (aka. Job) you identified for your customers.
From the point of view of your customer, what unique qualities of this offering most speak to their needs such that it would compel them to buy it or engage with it?
If the Job you defined in the previous step is important for your customers, then they’ll have some way they’re currently addressing it in their lives.
By digging into the competition, it maps out which aspects of this problem your competitors are focused on, and in turn helps you find openings for your solution within that landscape.
Once you’ve established that zoomed out view of your Vision, the next step is to zoom in.
You need to get very specific about the problem you’re addressing in your target customer’s life.
Your Vision Statement is meant to describe an envisioned future for the world where you’ve succeeded in accomplishing everything you’ve set out to do.
This is critical for giving you that zoomed out perspective of your overall direction. It defines what you’re looking to achieve on a broad level and who it benefits.
Our bodies give us indicators in the form of physical and mental discomfort for a reason. We’re wired to protect ourselves and preserve energy so that we can survive over the long run.
However, because we’re not generally operating in actual survival situations, those indicators have to be taken with a grain of salt.
I discovered Sudden Coffee on a recent episode of the podcast, The Pitch. The Pitch podcast is a lot like Shark Tank where entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to VCs in search of investment.
Every new business is built on a series of assumptions. If someone tried to perfectly define every variable that affects a business upfront, they’d never get started.
The secret weapon to help with your hiring process is sharing written documentation of your company’s vision and strategy.
In the process of running or working on a business we spend countless hours dissecting the “what” and “how” of our efforts. What amazing product or service are we going to build? How will we do it? What do our customers want?
We all spend so much time on our work, it’s hard to imagine giving away some of those valuable hours for free. But there are lots of benefits to be had from donating your professional skills.
If you’re not familiar with the whole build-measure-learn cycle from The Lean Startup, the idea of running “experiments” on your business may sound a little strange. But running experiments on your business is actually pretty easy — and it can even be kind of fun.
A key part of building trust with your brand’s audience is using a clear, consistent tone of voice with everything you write.
It’s easy to see the comparisons of running a business with going on a long, physical trek.
Nothing is handed to you. Everything you get has to be earned.
I recently used a digital product that took me on the very important journey from “I-guess-I’ll-try-it” to “I-gotta-keep-using-this”.
In business, we affectionately refer to the completion of that journey as the “aha” moment.
As someone whose writing is focused mainly around my work — in particular, topics like entrepreneurship, strategy, and psychology — I’m a little obsessed with learning which types of articles generate interest and why.
Gathering information at the start of a strategy project is like putting together a puzzle with someone who’s feeding you a few pieces at a time. The more pieces they share, the more you can help arrange them to bring the picture into view.
For the same reasons we expect our country’s leaders to represent the values we think are most important, we want to feel that way about our work too.
Like many kids (and adults), my 7-year-old son loves video games. That love includes playing games himself as well as watching videos of others playing to learn new tricks and skills.
Our brains are frighteningly good at deceiving us. Luckily, in our day-to-day lives we’re allowed to make dumb decisions every once in awhile.
When your business launched its website, you had high hopes for the swarms of customers it would bring in. There would be buzz, everyone would share it, your contact form would be aflame with activity.