“What is it that your business does?”
I ask my clients the question often when it comes to my business dealings, and it seems like such a simple question. For some people it is. One friend I have is an accountant who specializes in tax preparation. Another teaches others to play music. Yet another is a makeup artist. For the most part what they do for a business venture is fairly easy to define, and the skill sets they possess fall easily into their business definitions.
Every once and awhile however you run into someone who’s set of abilities range so far and wide that pulling them under one clear business definition seems fairly impossible.
Okay. Me. You run into someone like me.
For the better part of a year and a half, whenever anyone asked me what my business was about, I would launch into a list of what sounded like a technological hodge podge. I do web design and development, but I also put together and implement social media plans. I can also help with branding and design. Oh! And give me access to your Google Analytics and I can give you suggestions based on your numbers. Do you need an email campaign? I can do that too! There toward the end, I found myself dodging having to explain. It was tiring for me, and it was tiring for the people hearing it as well.
- Notice that my website doesn’t have any information about what I offer?
- I have no new business cards because I didn’t know what to call myself.
- My social media hasn’t gotten up and running.
- I stopped liking people on any of my social media channels because I was starting to feel I had no focus.
- No new blog posts anywhere.
- My business plan wasn’t getting written because I didn’t know where to start.
- I started to lose momentum and felt stagnant.
Everything had slowed to a stop and I couldn’t get myself to make any steps forwards even though I had a clear idea of the steps to take. What’s worse was that I couldn’t even pinpoint why, and the level of frustration was super high.
Then, early this week I received a new business related book in the mail. I sighed, pulled it out of its packaging and start to read the foreword. And it happened like a lightning bolt out of nowhere. Suddenly I had a way to define what I do that tied everything I had been listing into this nice, little, bowed package that made sense. I also realized that this one missing thing that seemed so small and easy was holding everything back.
What does this rather long and rambling musing mean to you?
Having that definition is an important part of your business. It guides almost every movement you make and leads you down every path presented to you. It informs your demographic and your brand, and it colors your marketing endeavors. Work on that definition.
But it if doesn’t come to you right away? Don’t sweat it too much or give up too soon. Sometimes you just need a little something to help with the revelation.