What Is It That Your Business Does Again? The Need To Be CLEAR!

If people are left confused as to what your business does, they'll simply go elsewhere.
If people are left confused as to what your business does, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

In our Small Business Management course, we discuss creating a website for your business — and at EzyLean, we even offer a training course on creating a website using WordPress. We’ve also talked about some of the website “must haves” on this very blog, but one of the things many business owners still get wrong is communicating what exactly their business does.

What Does Your Business Actually Do?

Being able to explain your business in one sentence or less should be like second nature to any business owner, yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a business’s website and found myself wondering, “What the hell does this business actually do?”

It seems that somewhere, in the midst of worry about design, functionality, load times, conversion rates, and so on, many business owners — large and small; this affliction is not discerning — forget to answer the most basic of questions and often the fundamental reason a person is on their website: What does my business do?

Take a look at your website. Does it clearly state in one sentence or less what your business does? If we use EzyLearn as an example, we could say, EzyLearn is an online training provider. We could even take it one step further and say, EzyLearn is Australia’s largest provider of online training courses, including MYOB, WordPress and Excel.

Both examples are clear, concise and, above all, they entice visitors to spend time on our website. This is important, because if you leave visitors wondering what your business does and whether you offer the services they’re looking for, they’ll give up and go elsewhere.

Your Business Plan’s Executive Summary

This is where the executive summary of your business plan comes into play. The executive summary of your business plan is used to explain what your proposed business will do; in no more than a paragraph you need to be able to convince the reader that your business idea is worthy of their funding, participation or whatever it is you’re seeking of them.

In essence, your executive summary is your elevator pitch. You need to refine this and whittle it down to a short, pithy explanation of your business and your services. Practice on friends and family if you have to and once you’ve got it, put it straight onto your homepage, or an easy-to-access “About Us” page.

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And remember: the thing about the Internet is that it’s great if you know what you’re looking for; but the majority of people don’t. Always craft your copy like you’re communicating with someone who doesn’t know the first thing about your business or the industry, then go from there.

Starting A New Business? What Tools Do You Need to Succeed?

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It’s often said that the majority of new businesses fail in the first year. Some people even go as far as to say that 90 percent of new businesses fail within their first twelve months of operation, but is this statement really true?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics it’s not. The number of new businesses that fail in the first twelve months is closer to 30 percent, or 3 out of every 10.

However, just because a business survives its first year or even the second or third, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a successful one.

If a business isn’t able to pay the owner a wage that equaled or exceeded what they could have earned elsewhere as an employee, it’s not successful.

Further, if that business hasn’t generated a profit or positive cash flow, it’s still not successful.

Nor is a business a successful one if it hasn’t had enough working capital to service their debt, pay taxes and suppliers, and so forth.

New businesses are incredibly risky; and even if you have a great idea for a start-up or years of experience in your particular field of expertise, that doesn’t guarantee success.

Ensuring a new business is fail-safe requires a solid business plan. A business plan is like a road map—it shows you exactly what route to take in order to arrive at your destination—and without one you’re literally driving blind.

If the idea of writing a business plan seems a little daunting, you’re not alone. It’s one of the key components to running a successful business, but it’s also the most often overlooked, which is why we are now offering a Small Business Management course.

Among the subjects included in the course such as, researching the market and creating a marketing action plan, you will also learn how to write your very own roadmap to success—a business plan.

So if your New Year’s Resolution was to start a new business in 2013, then join us online with the new Small Business Management Course, which was especially created by Maggie Richardson from the Australian Small Business Centre for Australian Small Businesses.