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SANTA MONICA, CA, February 20, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Your "North Star" is the What and Why of the products or services your business provides, it is your guiding light in everything your business does, and all too many businesses fumble along without ever defining exactly why they sell what they do. Your business's North Star should (as any good star does) have five points that compile your BOSS – your Business Operating Support System.
Your BOSS is a five-pointed agile operations system for growth companies that incorporates ideas and best practices from the most effective methodologies in business. It provides you with five structured phases that set your vision (the core of your North Star), strategy, execution, standardization, and business improvement processes necessary to grow a successful company.
It sounds complicated, but it can all be broken down into three easy steps. Let's start with step 1.
North Star Selling Step 1: The What
You'd be surprised to learn how many businesses haven't clearly defined what exactly they sell. Before you move on, you should define and write down a clear explanation of what you sell. If you can hand the explanation to a layperson and they understand instantly what you sell, you've got it. (Sometimes this isn't possible for very industry-specific products and services, but it's worth striving for.)
Next, define the features and benefits of your product or service. We have a tendency to focus on all the nitty-gritty features we, as the creators know will wow our customers, but our real focus should be on the features our customers need to solve their pain point. For example, when we buy a home assistant like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, we are sold on it because it will answer our every question, manage our home lighting and appliances, and our shopping lists. Can they do more than that? Sure, but there's no sense selling someone who wants it to manage their lighting on the fun quizzes you can do with it – they don't care. Sure, they may use that feature later, but that's never going to give them a reason to buy. The benefit is that you can manage your home's lighting no matter where you are, and turn them on before you get home or off if you leave them on before work, saving you money on your electric bill.
North Star Selling Step 2: Why
We touched on some of these points briefly in step one, but it's time to define the problems your customers are facing and why you help them solve it. If you don't know why you sell what you do, your company will be unremarkable and ultimately fail to connect with customers. Write a succinct statement that defines your solution and your mission; how and why does it solve the problem? Why will customers care? Why do you, as a company, care about helping them? Define the impact your solution will have on the customer.
North Star Selling Step 3: Who
Finally, you need to know exactly who you are selling your product or service to. This should not be a demographic – you need to go far more in-depth than simply age, gender, and income level. As you create this description, consider your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), your Ideal Buyer Profile (IBP) and use any current user stories or testimonials – you can often find hidden gems in the words of your own customers. Do this regardless of whether you sell direct to customers or to huge corporations – you need to know who your customer is, the problems they face in their lives or industry, and how you can solve it. Don't be afraid to spend some time researching individual customers, especially if you already have a list of clients but haven't yet defined which customers are ideal for your company.
Sum everything up into a statement using the following formula: "As a [who you are], I want to [what action you take] so that [your why]." For example, "As a fast-growing payroll SaaS company, we want to make it easy for SMEs to pay all their employees and generate payslips with a single click of a button, so they can spend more time working on their businesses, rather than in them."
When you've completed all the steps successfully put them together in a document and title if your North Star, and distribute it to your team. It's never a bad thing to remind everyone of the basics in the clearest way possible. Plus, as you move forward implementing other stages of BOSS, you'll have the clear North Star you need to guide you through.
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