“Yeah, But” Is Not a Way to Improve Your Business

I recently spoke with a business owner who had a BAD case of yeahbut. Yeahbut seems to be an illness which runs rampant in business owners who have little to no sales.

Every insight or piece of advice is responded with “Yeah, but… ” followed by a litany of the reasons why a suggestion or insight doesn’t work.

Here are some samples of how Yeahbut can be recognized. Stay clear of business owners with Yeahbut in case you yourself fall victim to such problems.

Me: A successful business begins with determining your niche. How are you different?

Yeahbut: Businesses will buy my services because they know, like and trust me.

Me: That’s great. But it’s jargon which provides no meaningful difference. What niche would you like to serve – or what service to you want to be known for?

Yeahbut: Business is such short demand I have to take everything everyone offers. When I get sufficient sales, then I niche myself.

Me: OK, the Paredo Principle (the 80-20 Rule) says that 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of the things you do. So what brings in the most money for your business right now?

Yeahbut: I don’t know. I haven’t really evaluated what past customers have purchased from me.

Me: So how are competitors attracting their customers?

Yeahbut: I don’t know. That’ll take market research. And that would take money to pay a marketing company to do the market research.

Me: Can’t you do market research by looking at your competitor’s advertising and websites?

Yeahbut: No, as I cannot trust what my competitors are saying.

OK, so how does one set up a business so it is successful?

1. You determine your Market Dominating Position. THIS is NOT an industry. It is how you are going to dominate an industry by being the best Quality, the lowest price, the best service, the strongest guarantee…

2. Determine your niche based on your Market Dominating Position.

Determine the various demographics your business could serve under its Market Dominating Position.

Determine all the hot-button emotional issues you are solving by serving the various demographics.

Determine which hot button issue you are most passionate about.

3. Rewrite your niche based on your passion. And focus solely on your niche. Marketing to the masses is for those who spend money marketing to the masses.

Procter and Gamble spent $9 billion to market $83 billion of products. Procter’s statistics also reflect it now takes 90 touches to get a person to buy their product or services based on their institutional, mass marketing, branding approach to marketing. You can either play at Procter’s game with that marketing budget and required touch points or you can niche, target a specific audience, do direct response advertising and receive great response for a fraction of the cost.

I am not saying Procter isn’t right in how they market. I am saying how costly the way they market is.

Bottom line for a small business is you can play the Yeahbut game and continue to have little sales or you can focus your energies, your marketing and your expertise and become the market leader. Your choice.