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Positioning For Profits

Last Friday, I was spending one last day of freedom with a ... who was ... to have her first baby at any ... decided to hang out by the pool.On the way there, we stopped to pick up

Last Friday, I was spending one last day of freedom with a dear
friend who was expecting to have her first baby at any minute.
We decided to hang out by the pool.

On the way there, we stopped to pick up some lunch to
eat pool-side. Given the choice of Wendyís, Subway, or
McDonaldís, I chose Subway because I knew I could get a
relatively low-calorie, low-fat lunch there.

How did I know that? Because Iíd seen their commercials
starring Jared who had lost something like 150 pounds by eating
an all-Subway-sandwich diet.

Now, I donít need to lose 150 pounds, and I donít plan to go on
an all-Subway-sandwich diet. However, I also didnít want to
blow the 648 calories I had burned on the elliptical trainer that

From the moment we walked in, I knew I had made the right
decision. They had a poster-sized sign telling me how many
calories and grams of fat each of their basic sandwiches have.
That helped me make a decision about the best thing to order.

Then, they reinforced my smart decision when they handed me my
sandwich-drink combo. Plastered across the sandwich wrapper,
around my cup, and over my napkin were the same calorie/fat
breakdowns. I was pleased to see that I was only eating 320
calories for lunch (okay, truth be told, I splurged on chips too).
But, nonetheless, Subway had done their job and done it well.

Iím talking about POSITIONING. They might be a lot of things,
but the thing they want you to know above all else is that they
offer low-calorie fast food alternatives. Yes, they were fast.
Yes, they were cheap. But the point they have hammered
home with their advertisements, in-store signage, and paper
goods is that I can get a meal that wonít blow my diet.

Positioning is what sets you apart from your competitors.
Itís what makes a prospect choose to work with you rather
than someone else. Itís the part of perception that you
have the most control over. But many business owners
neglect to take charge of their position in the marketplace
and let customers position their business for them.

How many times have you lowered your prices to get
a new client who balked at your original bid? How many
times have you agreed to provide a certain service to
a client that you never planned to provide, donít enjoy
doing, and isnít very profitable? How many times have
you taken on a job that requires the most basic skills you
possess and complained that you canít get clients that
want to use all of your talents?

These are all things that business owners experience when
they let their prospects/clients position their business for
them. If you find yourself doing this, the time to change is

Are you letting the market position your business for you? If
so, donít fret. Most all of us have been there at some time or
another. Sometimes, itís important to take on low-end jobs.
We all need to pay the bills. We all experience market
downturns. We all have to build up confidence in our services.

But, if you find yourself feeling frustrated with the type of work
youíre doing, the amount of money youíre making, or the
kind of clients you are working with, itís time to take charge
of your business.

Take a piece of paper and write down 5-10 things you want
people to think of when they think of your business. Here are
several examples, but you might think of many more:

* low price
* fast service
* high quality
* personal service
* caring attitude
* expert advice
* emotional support
* technical expertise
* immediate results
* creative ideas

Now, look through your list and choose the one thing that you
want to emphasize more than any other Ė the one thing that
will set you apart from your competitors.

Once youíve selected it, write down a list of benefits that the
one thing provides to your clients. For example, if you chose
ďhigh qualityĒ from the list above, some benefits might include:

* you make them look good to their employees/employer/clients
* you help projects stay on track because your work is good
enough the first time and requires no changes/edits
* you allow them to take one thing completely off their plate
because your work meets their standards without their
direct involvement

Once youíve identified the aspect of your business that you
want to emphasize and youíve identified the benefits to your
clients, sit down with all of your marketing materials. This
includes your business card, brochure, letterhead, web site,
advertisements, bio sheet, etc. Determine how you can
tweak each one to emphasize this aspect of your business.

If you can afford it, you might reprint some of your materials.
If you canítPsychology Articles, you might come up with ways to add a tag line
to your existing materials. You could print your tag line at the
bottom of every piece of letterhead each time you are sending
a letter. You could have stickers printed with your tag line to
stick on each of your brochures. Be creative!

The best part about proper positioning is that you end up doing
the type of work you enjoy and making more money. Many
times the work is more profitable -- you are able to charge
more than your competitors because you are delivering more
value than they do. The clients that choose to work with you
are making the decision to pay a little more in order to benefit
from the extra value you provide.

Happy Positioning!

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Kimberly Stevens is a Business Life Coach who supports business owners and entrepreneurs in their pursuit of a fulfilling life and profitable business by offering individual and group coaching, ebooks, teleclasses, and live workshops. To learn more about creating a richly rewarding life as a business owner, visit or send a blank email to: for an automatic reply.

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