[tweetmeme]When you tell people what your business is, do they get it immediately? Or are they scratching their heads trying to understand what you just said?
When starting a business, it is important to be able to convey what your business is all about. You need to be able to explain to your stakeholders — whether your customers, website visitors, investors, and employees – what your business provides, what you do, and how it can help them. No matter how complicated your business seems to be, you need to be able to explain it to them clearly and succinctly.
Take the case of SimpleGeo. According to their website, the company is involved in “Building kick-ass tools for developers to index, interpret, and consume data connection to a location.”
For a non-technical person, that is very vague. But as the tech blog TechCrunch.com pointed out, even their key target market – the developers – are left scratching their heads trying to understand what their business really is and what they offer. And that is never good.
The article cited a comment they got from a developer:
they’re an impressive team and i’m sure it’ll be interesting to see what they do. while i didn’t ask this question i’ve often wondered WTF simplegeo offers. i took a look at their initial APIs and while i’m very comfortable with geo i couldn’t figure out how they were useful. these new ones are def more interesting.
When your key target audience can’t even understand what you do, you need to rethink how you are presenting your business. Look at your website, brochure, and other marketing materials criticially to assess how clearly you are talking about the business. Can ordinary people understand what you do? More importantly, are your target customers getting the whole idea of your business and how they may need you?
It is also important to look at how you try to explain what your business is to other people. You need to think of how you can more clearly explain what you do. Use analogies if you must to keep everything simple. Don’t simply refer others to your extensive documentation explaining what your business is, just what SimpleGeo CEO did. When he got a query as to what the business is, his response was to refer the person to their API docs.
But as TechCrunch said,
Go ahead and click on that link, read a few things and then come back here and tell me if you know what SimpleGeo does.
Keep things simple for everyone. Avoid jargons. Keep away from high-fallutin’ stuff: you’re not impressing anybody, just confusing them!