Just One Thing

One of my favorite movies – and a scene that every business owner needs to consider.

What’s your business’ one thing?  What’s yours?

Is that what the bulk of your current efforts are working towards?

If you need some help figuring that out – or just staying focused on it – check out The Power of Focus.

Mine is short and powerful. How about yours?

More customers, more productivity, more profit. Guaranteed.

That’s my USP (unique selling proposition), but some might also call it my mission statement. I don’t really look at it like a mission statement by someone’s pure definition, but in a lot of ways – they are the same thing.

So why is it that and not something like “blah blah blah optimal blah blah blah cohesive blah blah blah forward-thinking blah blah solutions blah blah blah”? (as spoken by Charlie Brown’s teacher)

Other than the fact that I can actually *remember* the short one, it’s because I’ve been through the process Dan Heath describes below in this short 3 minute video:

It’s usually an AWFUL process and interestingly enough – after all that self-inflicted punishment, I always work my way back to the original statement and keep it because it’s short and powerful. It doesn’t have a lot of crap, wordsmithing or baggage. Believe me, I’ve tried adding words to it like “I help small business get …” and so on.

EVERY time, I end up pulling those things out.

Norm at Norm’s News in Kalispell says “Eat dessert first”, for example. They sell old-fashioned candy, milk shakes like your great grandpa talks about and so on.

Is yours short and powerful?

Is yours not only short enough to remember, but powerful and impactful enough to act on and motivate others? I hope so.

Don’t stop there – Now apply this to your marketing message(s).

If they feel like something that came from the meeting described in the video, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Could this be why your marketing is so darned boring?
  • Is this why your response rate is 0.005%?

Uh, yeah. Probably so.

Take that dude with the corporate-speak hat out in the parking lot and have him park cars, wax deck chairs or something until that stuff clears out of his mind. Maybe toss one of Seth’s books at him.

No matter what – take a firehose to that vocabulary. It’s boring, it doesn’t stand out in any crowd and it sure doesn’t compel anyone to do business with you – not even the stodgiest of companies.

Now, start over. Remember what you wanted to do when you started this thing? Remember the stuff you do for customers that gets you jacked up? Remember the thing that you’d rather do than almost anything (yeah, besides “that” and skiing, of course).

That’s what your mission – and most likely your USP – is all about.

Update: A nice resource from Dan and Chip Heath to help you get this process right, tossing out the stuff you dont need.