How to clearly define your product or service

By September 5, 2017Strategy

You may think you know what your business does. But, is it at a stage where you can articulate what your business offers to others in a way they can comprehend?

Why is it important to have clarity? It allows you to have a clear vision around what you do or sell. Having a clear definition also helps you describe what you do when networking, marketing, or selling. As your business grows, you can broaden your offering relative to your core.

“If you go too wide, you drown in opportunity” -Mark Cuban

A clear definition is a model designed for scalability. Focus helps you know how the product or service sells and the location of the appropriate market fit. Further, it helps as you look to differentiate your offering in the marketplace.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

The most understated advantage of clear definition is it allows you to define what you DON’T do. This skill is a great filtering or decision-making mechanism for your focus of time. When someone asks if your company can do X, Y, or Z, you have the clarity and confidence to tell them you only do A, B, and C.

So where do you start?

Let’s take a look at what currently exists:

  • What offering descriptions do you have in place today?
  • What does your sales/marketing collateral or website consist of?
  • Do you use any tools or processes to deliver your product or service?
  • Do you have a product/service matrix with pricing mapped out? If you haven’t yet, you should create a product/service matrix.

These questions should set the table for the following exercise.

Product/Service Offering Analysis Exercise:
  • Lay out what you do at a high and at a low level. Don’t do this in your head, get it written down to read aloud and list to yourself.
  • Why do you sell or provide what you do?
  • If you don’t change, what happens and why?
  • What is your strategy?
  • Product Matrix: What is your most/least popular?
  • Product Matrix: What is your most/least profitable? If you don’t know, stop here and calculate out the gross margin for everything you offer.
  • How do you feel about your offering (likes/dislikes)?
  • What do you think about your competitor offerings?
  • Do you have any voids/excesses in your matrix?
  • What is your core offering?
  • When did you last watch a customer use your product or service?
  • What does your offering solve?

Now that you have analyzed what you offer in detail. What stands out to you? If you broke out each part of your offering, is there anything that could stand on its own as an offering?

This exercise should help you refine the information conveyed to others. If it’s not clear, where can you cut, or refine to be concise in both your offering and your description to others? The descriptions and pitch should be in layman’s terms without any industry jargon. Everyone hates jargon, don’t do it.

Remember, because you sit around all day thinking about what your business does in your head, doesn’t mean anyone else understands what you do.

Lay it out, refine, and repeat. Simplify and focus.

 

Brad Kreutz

Author Brad Kreutz

As a small business advisor, Brad brings entrepreneurial experience and outside perspective to help business owners overcome their challenges, create a scalable platform, and grow their business.

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