One thing small town businesses often need help with is getting clear on who they are and what they do. I see retail businesses that can’t tell you why they are any better than an online store, professionals and consultants who can’t tell you exactly what they do, and service providers who target “everyone!”
My friend Steve Woodruff is offering a service that meets this need. I met Steve at SOBCon, one of my favorite events ever. I found he had a pretty good understanding of some small town issues, probably because he grew up in a small-ish colonial town, Berlin, Connecticut.
Steve’s service is called Clarity Therapy. I think those businesses I mentioned could use come clarity. Maybe you could, too. I asked Steve, “Why clarity?” and here is his answer:
My main business for the last 7 years has been “matchmaking” pharma clients (mostly sales training depts.) with optimal outsource vendors (there are literally hundreds of boutique suppliers that orbit around the biopharma world). Since my goal is to bring a trusted recommendation of a vendor in to meet a specific need, one of my challenges was to make sure I understood what the “sweet spot” of each vendor/partner was. And I discovered that many of them were really unable to pinpoint and articulate their differentiation, their brand. Very diffuse and unfocused marketing.
Being a branding guy by nature, I started helping these companies find their ideal offering and define their message, and over time realized that I had a special gift to quickly analyze and bring to the surface what the “DNA” of the company was (note: I started also doing this with individuals in career transition – same process). Over time I realized that this was a business unto itself and came up with a business model (initially called “brand therapy”) involving a half-day or full-day intensive session, resulting in a deliverable of strategic direction, key words, and a go-to-market message.
Later, when I realized that what I was doing was mostly for small companies and individuals (not brands), and it had a lot more to do with gaining clarity about core identity, I re-named the offering Clarity Therapy <-(the other reason being that I could “own” that term and differentiate with it – “brand therapy” was going to put me in a very crowded space of agencies and marketers).
The primary growth driver for Clarity Therapy, by design, is word-of-mouth and trusted recommendation/referral.
So – whereas some of my work involves huge companies, like top pharma, the Clarity Therapy work focuses on small business and startups – people who need a clear direction and message but can’t possibly pay for branding services from a major agency. Throw in the many people trying to get clarity on their career direction, and the need is unlimited – there could be 1,000 clones of me out there and we would never even be able to scratch the surface.
If Clarity Therapy sounds like a good match for you or a small business you know, there is more info in this PDF flyer on Clarity Therapy.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.