Recently the topic of positioning has been a focus of many of the conversations that I have been part of. One of those conversations was with Jonathan Stark who has site on this topic. (http://expensiveproblem.com).
Many professionals, consultants and freelancers struggle with narrowing the focus of what they do. There are a number of objections to developing a niche including (i) fear of losing clients (ii) fear of gaining clients (iii) boredom amongst others. However I also see a number of people struggle with knowing exactly how to narrow the focus of their business.
In future articles I will be going through 4 different ways you can position your business but I would like to explore a phrase that has come up a number of times in recent conversations. This is are you solving an expensive problem?
You might want to work with clients in a particular area however does that item really matter to your prospective clients? To be of value you need to be valuable. To be valuable you need to be helping your clients with something that matters to them and is worthwhile them spending money, time and effort to solve.
One way to start looking at your positioning is to look at everything you currently do for your clients. Then start narrowing the list to the things that you get requested to do or questioned about the most. From this list then narrow it again to the items that are the most important to your clients (not you). Once again remove from the list the items that clients don’t pay much for and the items you don’t personally enjoy. You should now have a very short list of problems that you solve.
This does not matter whether you run an accounting firm, web development business, consulting firm or you are a freelancer then the course to significant profits and a better quality of life is by narrowing the focus of your business. Through solving expensive problems for your clients you will able to achieve premium prices and get away from the hourly billing trap.
What expensive problem are you solving?