Your Business Deserves a Second Chance!

by : A l Hanzal

When you started your business, you dreamed your customers would love your products and services. They would be excited. You would make money doing what you love.

Then reality set in. You put lots of time in your business. You got fewer profits. Now you compete with every Tom, Dick and Harry to sell your product or service. The future is not secure.

Today, you get a second chance to change your business picture. A fresh start! In this article, you will focus on the second of five critical issues that influence how customers come to your business. Last issue we focused on your target population. This time, you can complete an exercise to clarify your marketing message.

The Need to be Different

The only way to be successful in our new economy is to be different, be unique and special to your market. When you separate yourself from your competitors, you can get back to the original dreams you had about owning your business. Over 3000 impressions bombard your customer every day, asking them to buy. How are you going to make yourself different from the 2999 impressions that he or she ignores each day?

Stake Out a Position

Complete this exercise to carve a position for your business and to clarify your marketing message. Start by answering the following questions:

  • What are the three biggest problems your customer want solved when they come to your business?
  • What are three gaps or complaints customers have about your industry?
  • What positions do your competitors take in addressing customer problems?
  • What three things could you do that are different from what others are doing in your industry?

You create a marketing position by staking out one piece of your target market. It could be a place where no competitor goes. It could be a place where others are now but you can do it different or better. Here are some other ways to carve out your position.

  • Can you add or subtract something from your industry standards?
  • Can you make it bigger or smaller?
  • Can you customize?
  • Can you make it last longer?
  • Can you combine it with something else?
  • Can you make it more portable for your customers?

For example, your industry standard offers a one year guarantee on a product. You could offer an 18 month guarantee. You could be known as “the business with the best guarantee".

From the above process identify at least two potential positions you can take in your target market that will make you unique, different or special to your customers.

Testing Your Position

Now you want to put your potential “positions" through a test. Ask the following three questions of each potential position.

  • Is this position truly unique for your customer?
  • Is the position valuable to your customer?
  • Is the position easily communicated to your customer?

If you cannot honestly answer “Yes", “Yes", “Yes" with each of your potential positions, you must reexamine the positions you are considering. If the position is not unique, not important to the customer and cannot be communicated to the customer, it will never be a powerful marketing message. Continue this exercise until you find a position that passes the three question test.

Write Your Marketing Message

Now write your marketing message in 60 words of less. Your marketing message is going to be 2-3 sentences long, 20-30 words per sentence. It should indicate how you are different. It should indicate the benefits for your customer—what’s in it for them? It should have attention getting power—to create a reaction from the customer.

Keep writing it until it makes sense to you. Then bounce it off your friends to get more input. This message will now become the foundation of your marketing efforts.


You have a second chance to realizing your original dream. You have more experience now than when you first started. Use your experience to complete this exercise. You will produce a marketing message that is clear and powerful because it says exactly how you stand out from your competitors and why a customer should buy your product or service.

For a special report that shows how all five critical pieces work together to get you more customers for your business, send an email to I will send a copy of the report to you. Or click on

Copyright Al Hanzal, 2004. All Rights Reserved