One marketing step sounds simple, but it is not: Focus, focus, focus, and focus some more.

Focus on finding more people in your key segments; focus on the best ways to let them know about your detail services; focus on giving them what they want; focus on being something special to them, on winning and keeping the number one slot in their minds when they think of a detail business.

This is easier said than done. Since you are not operating in a vacuum, you have to position yourself better than your competitors (some who don't play fair) and you have to use that position to your advantage. You know what your key customer segments are, where they are located.

Now, you have to determine whom the competitors are that are competing for them, too. Where are they located? How good are they? It’s not about what you think, but what the customers think. Objectively try to determine their strengths and weaknesses.  And, by the way, you need to know yours as well.

Remember the battle for business is fought in the minds of prospective customers. You’ve got to make your detail business stand head and shoulders above the competition.

You must find ways to give customers what they want and do it better than the other detail businesses competing for their business.

How can you present your detail business to customers in a way that capitalizes on your strengths and takes advantage of your competitors' weaknesses?

When you have discovered what you think your best approach is, test it. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it deliver what my key customers want most?
  • Does it make my detail business out from the competitors?
  • Is it built upon my business’ unique strengths?

If it passes this test, you have defined yourcustomer positioning statement. Write it down. Keep it simple. Carve it on your desk, tape it on your bathroom wall; or whatever it takes to get and keep it up front and visible.