Some of you may have heard of the old saying that…
“A Rut is a Grave Without Front and Rear Ends. (One continuous trench)”
Yes, we all seem to find our own Rut at some point in our working life and with some of us in other parts of our lives. Sometimes extricating yourself from a rut requires “Massive Action”.
Other times all it needs is a little nudge from a colleague or friend, and the light at the end of the tunnel is suddenly obvious and, it’s goodbye to the RUT.
We forget that a rut is a trench that is lower than the surrounding surface. Sometimes the walls of the trench might be low but at other times the trench walls may tower above you. The rut goes on forever, no matter how far you walk in the trench, you never get near an end. Consequently, you can’t stay on the same level to get out of your rut.
So – How do you get out of a (rut) trench? YOU STEP UP!
To do this you may need little more than a helping hand, other times it might mean having to use a ladder and if you’re in a deep rut, then maybe you need the equivalent of a tug from a small lifting device like a frame or crane.
The big trick to learn is Don’t Let the Rut catch you again.
We can usually feel when we are either in a rut or about the fall into one and if there is one thing that keeps ruts at bay it’s a rolling plan of activities that benefit our clients and thereby, ourselves.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
However, if you have ever been in a rut you’ll know how difficult it is to motivate yourself into taking the necessary action, assuming, of course, you know what actions you need to take. Usually, they include one or more of the following…
- Poor Cash Flow,
- A Drop in sales,
- Impact from Stiff Competition,
- Can’t take advantage of the Internet Opportunities due to lack of skills,
- Don’t know what the opportunities are,
- Poor focus on your market,
- You’re simply not sure what to do next
All of the above and more can take their toll on your confidence and before you know anything about it, you are feeling lethargic and down in the dumps. If we look at those listed, and many I’ve not listed then the answer can simply be that you have not “Positioned Yourself Properly” in your market place.
It’s those words right – Positioned? Positioning?
I can hear a sharp intake of breath at the mere mention of them. Worry Not! Here are some tips on how to make that move from lethargy to Necessary Action…
- Establish Who/What Your Market Is.
- What product or service do you provide?
- What will it do for the customer?
- What Problems do they have?
- How can you help them solve their problems?
Now look at your products and services and see how they can be used to help the customers in your market sector.
Get to know the market and its segments.
Any market is made up of different levels of manufacturing and supply so make sure you understand them all. Work out what it is you can do for them, what problems they have and what the solutions for those problems can you devise or offer…
You’ll find you will be able to drill down and specialize on the segments (different levels) and here you will have less competition and usually you’ll have a better reception from your prospective customers.
Let’s look at a market sector and see what levels we can come up with. I’ll take one which most tend to leave alone so you can see what I suggest can be applied to any sector.
For this exercise, I’ll take Agriculture.
A quick rundown on farming will tell us that there are different levels or “Segments” in farming.
Arable Crops, Beef, Sheep, Goats, Dairy, Specialist Crops, Rare Breads, Lama’s, Alpacas and so on…
The whole market as we see from our list above breaks down into Sectors.
We’ll look at the Dairy Sector.
Each sector will divide into segments and it is these that you drill down into. Why? – Less competition, more receptive customers who see you can help them and more chance of referrals.
They all have special problems associated with their segment and the way they work. Perhaps they are having the same issues you are experiencing.
Dairy Farmers used to supply milk, that was their sole product.
But now, they must do different things to survive, consequently a significant number of dairy farmers have turned to making products out of the milk they produce as opposed to simply selling the milk to one big processor. (a middleman)
From milk, you get Cheese, Yoghurt, Ice Cream, Double cream, Single cream, Curds, Whey and of course male calf’s who are usually killed. Until now dairy farmers have simply killed most of the male calf’s as the cost of keeping them to maturity for the market outweighed the returns. But now they have realized that the males can be grown for beef, but not in the traditional beef manner, that is far too costly.
The male calves don’t have to reach the same maturity as traditional beef cows. They can be taken to market much sooner and at less cost by producing not just any old beef, but Veal.
Veal is a delicacy which was banned due to the way it was farmed. However, the new veal is farmed in a way that means the animals have a good life and are well treated. The veal is not as pale as it would have been in the old days it’s more of a rose color and it has a premium price as the calf is fed mainly on milk and animal feed nuts rather than being out to tender on grass which gives the meat a different color, taste, and texture. Restricting their movement also contributes to the flavor.
Prior to realizing this, farmers would lose money on male calf’s and they were virtually worthless. Now they are a superb by-product of the dairy production.
A typical dairy farm could, therefore, be involved in any of the additional products we have named above, from cheese to veal.
By drilling down, I’ve got to know more about the segment of the market and once you do this…
You have become Specialized! Pretty soon you can be known as the go to guy for whatever it is you do.
You can do the same to any market place.
Look at the whole market, break it into sectors and then drill down into the segments to find new clients you never thought you would be serving until you did this.
So now we know how to drill down, what is it we can do to help our customers?
You Have Now Begun to Position Yourself!
When you position yourself as an Educator and Advocate for your client’s success, you are on the right track, but there is more to positioning than what I have discussed here.
To master positioning as an Authority and Expert at what you do, there are a few more steps to get you out of that Rut. The positioning process is the ladder that helps you out of the rut and raises you above the competition.
Those steps include:
Online Radio and other Media Interviews; Authorship; Articles; News Releases; Speaking Engagements; Social Media – G+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Buzz Feed, and others.
Your Presence is required in all of them. Stand Out From The Crowd and Your Compeitors!
Make the Effort – Step Up – Be Seen and Recognized for the Authority in your field that you deserve.
Was a Policy Adviser for Federation of Small Businesses on Education, Training and Business Development appearing on Government Select Committee Hearings for the FSB.
He is now working with the Lake District National Park Authority Business Task Force in helping to deliver inclusion and benefits from the newly formed English Lakes World Heritage project.
Enjoys holding sessions with owner managers on developing their branding and marketing methodologies for being noticed and winning customers.
Latest posts by David Birchall (see all)
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