How to start, add, or renew a business: KISS it
Great article by Geoff Kelly
Keep It simple. And don’t be Stupid.
Most people seriously overcomplicate it, and that is very stupid. They also do a lot of guessing, and that is even more stupid.
Here’s the simplest plan to set up a new business, recover an existing business, or
add a new product or service — whether you’re selling flowers by the bunch or high
value business to business services.
1. Check out the Market
First, look at the dimensions and quality of the market, and how you can reach
prospects. Is it huge, or small? Do they already spend money on what you want to
offer? Are they local or far flung? Is it feasible to reach them on the internet, or by
various media, or personally?
Get a rough idea for how many potential prospects are in your desired market.
2. Check out the Media
Then, check for media to reach them. Are there digital or physical magazines
popular with the group? Are they members of specific associations? Where do they
show up? What do they often do?
If you believe there are enough good prospects and it is practical to reach them, go
deeper. Ask others closer to the market. Check Government and other statistics. Go
look and do your own sniff test.
3. Check out the Competition
And then: How big and strong is the competition – including the option that they can
do it for themselves (so many don’t consider this do-it-yourself option that is such a
barrier to many business and retail services). Are you facing sharks or goldfish? How
good are the outcomes they are getting for clients?
How do these competitors get clients? How are they attracting, selling and winning
clients in different parts of the market? The best will use simple approaches – map
their prospect to client funnels.
4. Check out Price Points
And then: What are the prevailing price points in the market?
What does the bulk of the market consider a fair price for normal service? What do
they see as a premium price for a top shelf service? Or for a specialist service? What
is it that they will pay more for?
5. Find Prospects Pain and how are you going to solve it ?
Next: What do prospects need most? What frustrates them, stops them from doing
what they most want? What stops them from getting more out of the products and
services already in the market?
How can you fill these gaps? This will be the source of your compelling offer.
Line up all the benefits you can offer, and how clients will experience them.
5. Prepare your Pitch
this, create your appeals and reality test them on real prospects. Your mother or your
partner will be too kind to you – genuine prospects won’t be.
That’s your sales message.
6. Create a product or service that people want to buy and can do it easily
And then: Make sure your product or service is:
simple to create and describe
easy to offer and fulfil
offers obvious value in terms of outcomes to price
gets satisfaction and/or outcomes fast (use milestones in longer term outcomes)
is easy to buy
7. Over- deliver – and do it fast
So when you get new clients, you can deliver fast. And simply.
And last: Start fast and build on early progress and learning with massive action.
Do more of what works, and stop or change what doesn’t.
8. Keep your Customers and make them advocates
Standout business thinker Peter Drucker kept it simple when he said that
business is about creating and keeping a customer. And that the two most important
things to do are innovation and marketing. Everything else is a cost.
Of course we need other stuff too – technology, staff, legal compliance, funding
and so on.
But Drucker’s advice is not to allow these things to divert focus from
the main game.
If we don’t get and keep clients, we don’t have a business.
So start simple. Take ONE existing service or product that needs resurrection, or
a new one. And run the above process to create the business. Then rinse and
repeat with another, and another as long as you want for the growth you choose.
No need to complicate – just KISS it.
Geoff Kelly is an experienced business mentor and coach working mostly with
business to business services clients. He works with people who want to make
real improvement, and he shows them how to make the few changes that make
the most difference to the results they want. He hates complicated, and loves
His other practice is also simple, but high impact. Geoff helps professionals
matter to decision-makers. Whatever you need – more clients, peer recognition,
getting a strategy or idea adopted – your ultimate competitive advantage is
having specific people know and value you and your ideas.