Know this and win. Don't know this and die. (Your business, not you.)

No matter how small or how big the company you run; if you can answer the following question quickly and clearly, then you are off to the best possible start with creating a winning business. As always, the job of a question is to lead you to the answer. Once you have answered this question, consider your answer carefully and perhaps most importantly, do it honestly.

Why would a customer continue to visit my store over all else?

But there is a proviso; you are not allowed to refer to any of the following three descriptions:

1. Customer Service. Everybody promises it. You either get it or you don’t. If you don’t, then you won’t survive and if you do, it is merely sufficient to keep you in the game, not to differentiate you.

2. Price. There is always someone cheaper and the customer knows because they carry that information in their pockets.

3. Location. You may have been the only that sells xyz widget in a 20km radius in the past, but not anymore. See above.

If you can come up with a differentiating answer, then your next steps are pretty simple: figure out how you can deliver on that key promise.

The answer to this question will clarify how sound your business model is. You may be surprised to know how few people can do it with conviction and clarity.

The same applies to me and the business we founded in 2006. I am luckier than most in that I can rely on the wisdom of the crowd – and that is YOU. Since I have been writing here on Inside Retailing for the last six years – on average 50 posts a year - and I hope it has made a difference to someone somewhere in entertaining or enlightening you, and hopefully maybe effecting some change.

Now it is my turn to ask you to reciprocate. I have two simple questions that need answers (one word or one sentence only) – and I will appreciate your (anonymous) help. PLEASE CLICK HERE.

How easy or how hard it was to answer the question I posed above? Are you happy with your answer? Do you think your answer translates into a viable, sustainable business model?

Have fun

Dennis Price

GANADOR: Future-proof your business with smarter strategies, systems and skills.

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