The Four Important Questions for Your Business
What is surprising to me is how many small business owners and early stage startup entrepreneurs do not have ready answers.
Why Does Your Business Exist?
What one big problem does your business solve, and what is the economic opportunity available to you for solving it?
I don’t mean to imply the economic opportunity is what matters most, but without a sensible business model the idea is not self sustaining. For any economic enterprise to be ongoing, the money coming in must more than equal the money going out.
For example, Inbound Marketing University exists to bring the incredible power of Inbound Marketing to attract your audience to your website and generate leads to small businesses which otherwise can not afford it. The purpose of Inbound Marketing University is to close the digital marketing divide where big businesses with big marketing budgets can create an amazing online presence, while small businesses without such a budget get left behind.
What is the reason your business exists?
What Do You Sell?
And for this answer you want to be specific. Although all successful businesses sell “hope” and “opportunity” and “positive experiences”, etc, there is something tangible which people get in exchange for giving you money.
For Inbound Marketing University, members have access to:
1) A set of how to lessons that are short and focused and teach you the step by step of how you or someone else on your does Inbound Marketing for an hour or two a day.
2) A community of like minded people doing the same within their businesses. This community is a source of “sharing” which in the mechanics of Inbound Marketing means we do the following for each other:
- Link to each others posts.
- Comment upon each others posts.
- Share each others posts with social media, especially Google+.
Who Do You Sell It To?
Nobody sells to “everybody” or “all [fill in the blank]”. If you think you do, you’re wrong.
To help you answer this question, look at:
- Who currently buys the most from you.
- Who benefits the most from buying your product or service.
Again, using Inbound Marketing University as an example, we sell to the owners or small businesses or the founders of early stage (and generally unfunded) startups. People who need and benefit from Inbound Marketing, but can’t even afford the Hubspot tool at $800 a month.
What Is Their Buying Decision Process?
And finally, when someone buys from you, what decision process did they go through?
For some of us who sell very inexpensive products into very large markets (for example, tennis balls) the decision process is very short. You need some. You go get some.
However when you sell a very expensive product (cars for example), the decision process has many more steps and takes longer.
Knowing this is important to your conversion processes. When your prospects have a certain path they following from initial curiosity about your products or services to buying, you want to implement that process on your website in the various sales pages and Calls to Action (CTAs).
Once again, using Inbound Marketing University as an example, the decision process tends to be:
- Does Inbound Marketing work?
- Does doing it yourself make sense: How will you find the time?
- Can the Inbound Marketing University community teach you and help you?
- Is the payment plan good?