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Positioning Your Business for the Future

When we say "core customer", this isn't necessarily a list of your customers today… or even your largest customers. This is a description of the customer who sits in your sweet spot. The ones who you serve incredibly well, who most appreciate your offering… and who provide the best opportunity for growth and profit long term.

Every business can use some help now and then with positioning itself to the market and to customers, especially those in the ever-changing graphic arts field. Doc recently discovered a good read over at What They Think that lists a lot of important questions you should be asking yourself about your business.

The article, by consultant Bob Lieber, was designed for those in the print services business, but is applicable to just about any business.

Question #1: What Business Are You In? This sounds like a simple question, but has huge implications, depending on how you answer it. When people ask you, "what do you do", how do you answer? Are you in the printing business? The graphic arts business? The customer communications management business? The marketing services business? The "right answer" for you…

  • Creates a perception for your customers, employees and vendors that determines what you are "eligible" to sell, make and buy;

  • Determines who is most likely to be in your competitive set (and your customer's consideration set);

  • Determines whether you are the leading player, a top 3 player or an afterthought in your segment of that business;

  • Guides how you configure your resources and where you make investments.

Question #2: Who is your Core Customer…Really? When we say "core customer", this isn't necessarily a list of your customers today… or even your largest customers. This is a description of the customer who sits in your sweet spot. The ones who you serve incredibly well, who most appreciate your offering… and who provide the best opportunity for growth and profit long term.

Bob asks a lot more questions and promises to provide the answers in follow-up articles. So keep your eyes on Whattheythink.com for even more good advice.