Are you selling time?

The business of time. What business are you actually in?

Most small businesses do not know what they actually sell. They may think it is selling a repair service or a fancy necklace. But they would be wrong. The end result is not the real service or product. The business is something else completely. Let me tell you a story to explain what I mean.

A few months back we had quite the wind storm that ripped through the area. As the winds grew in strength, some of our roof tiles began to blow off. We managed to weather the storm but took significant damage to the roof. We needed a new one.

I have built homes in the past, and know how to do roofing. An option for us would have been for me to complete the roofing job myself. I would have to buy the materials and gather permits. It would also take me a large amount of time.

The second option was to hire a contractor. We made some calls and got some quotes. In the end, we hired a contractor and the job got done. Now what the contractor may not have realized is that he did not, in fact, sell me a roof.

What are you actually selling?

I bought something else altogether. The result was I got a new roof. Yet the contractor sold me a few other items as well: Peace of mind and time. You see, because I did not have to complete the job myself, I got time. He also sold me some piece of mind because I got a new roof and it does not leak or come off in the storms.

So you need to stop and ask yourself this question. What is your business selling? Are you only selling some newfangled thing-a-ma-jig? Or could you be selling time to your customers?

Problems & Solutions

I would be willing to bet that most of your customers couldn’t care less about what you actually sell. Your product or service is a means to an end. In reality, they know that they have a problem, and you might have the right answer to solve it.

Talk about the problem

To create crazy effective marketing, you need to know not only what you are selling to the customer. You need to dig deeper. You must find out the actual pain your customer has and then figure out why your product or service fixes that pain. Because in the end, your product is fixing the customers pain. Your service is creating the solution to their problem.

Their pain will resonate with them. If you can call out that pain in your marketing, the clients will come to you. They will seek you out en masse to get that problem solved. The stronger the pain, the faster they will need a solution.

If you look at our business, we don’t actually sell you a website. Nor do we sell you marketing. As a small business owner, we speculate that your problem is lack of time. Be this personal, family or business time. Or it could be a desire to step back and do more of the things you enjoy. This is what we sell you by extension when we make a new website or build you a marketing plan.

So I will ask you again:

What is your business actually selling?

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The business of time. What business are you actually in?

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