How to Develop a Positioning Statement for Small Businesses

Your positioning statement is an internal tool that infuses focus, direction and power into your marketing. Done well, it ensures that you are in the right place, at the right time with the right offer….for the right clients.

Consider your customer’s perspective. Before purchasing, they need to know that your solution is a great fit, solves their problem and has specific advantages over other solutions. However, as a small  business owner, writing a positioning statement can be intimidating. It doesn’t need to be.

Start with a template

There are a number of templates out there to help you get started. I’ve found that this template provides the best fit for most small businesses.

[Point of differentiation] makes [business/product name] the best [point of reference/category] solution for [ideal clients] [with this problem.]

The positioning statement for my business is:

A focus on strategy and measuring results makes Inciting Marketing Solutions the best digital marketing consultancy for Denver area small businesses struggling to develop an effective digital marketing system.

This template may not be right for your business, so consider other options. Greg Head of Infusionsoft does an excellent presentation on positioning statements in a video called The 5 Keys of Small Business Marketing Strategy. Look under the Attract menu in the membership area of this website.

Key components of your positioning statement:

Your positioning statement should contain all of the following elements, but don’t stop there. Once you write the statement, gather and write out the details of each of the following areas.

  1. An ideal client
  2. Your solution
  3. Benefits of your solution
  4. Your competition
  5. Why you are better

Ideal clients

As you write your positioning statement, keep both your best and worst clients in mind. If you understand your best clients, you know where to meet great prospects. They might be out networking or on Facebook, but if you don’t understand them, you won’t be in the right place. A large part of marketing success is making the right offer to the right people. This all starts with understanding your ideal client.

Good marketing creates lots of enticing (for the right people) paths to your door. Great marketing identifies prospects that are a poor fit and pushes them away. It really comes down to ensuring that your initial offers will be a good fit for the right person, but a horrible fit for the people you don’t want to work with.

Your solution

Your solution should be designed as the best possible solution for your ideal clients. As you improve your service or product, you should always focus very carefully on making your service or product a better fit for the right people. Be sure that your positioning statement communicates the benefits of your solution.

Unique benefits

Benefits boil down to solving a problem. People don’t want a plumber, they want faucets that don’t leak at night. Few people want to file their taxes, while many people want to avoid problems with the IRS. You need to understand the problem that your product or service solves. You can take this one step further by exploring the emotions that prospects feel when facing this problem and after having this problem solved. If you want to learn more about benefits and features, click here.

Research your competition 

Understanding your competition is key to your success. Look at their website and social media messaging. Who are they targeting? How is this different than what you are doing? Firepole Marketing has an excellent guide on competitive research. You might start there. Ensure that your strengths and competition’s weaknesses are reflected in your positioning statement.

Why you are better

You don’t have to be the best in the world at everything. You just have to be the best for your slice of the market. An ideal solution for very specific customers makes powerful marketing easy.

Note: Avoid focusing on all of the great features you have built into your products or services. You are excited by the features. Your customers are excited by their problem disappearing.

Now put it all together

Take the time to put the components together right. Soon, you will begin to notice a difference in your marketing efforts. Decisions around marketing spend, efforts and communication will become simple. You will know how to make the right offer to the right person, in the right place, and with some luck, at the right time.

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