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Jeff Matlow
March 02, 2017

5 Steps To Success

5 Steps to SuccessI'm back with some industry insights and suggestions for growth.  Miss me?
We are in interesting times right now in our industry.  Take, for instance, these three facts:
Fact #1:  The number of people participating in endurance events is shrinking  
Fact #2:  People are participating in less events per year (3.2/year in 2016 vs 4.8/year in 2014)  
Fact #3:  There are more events than ever from which to choose
But there's a name for this phenomenon. It's called "competition."
I run a registration company and, as you all know, there are a fair bit of registration offerings out there these days. Naturally, we are all trying to stand out from the rest to get your attention.  The big ones (imATHLETE and others) tend to use messaging that promotes their unique offerings. The smaller registration companies usually try to use messaging focused on being lower priced than their bigger competitors.
Similarly, you run a business and you have competition. You are using your messaging to attract and retain customers.  But are you using the right messaging?
It all comes down to one simple question:  What do you do better than everybody else?
If you have a clear understanding of your answer to this important question, and validation of its viability, you have a true growth opportunity in this challenging market. 
With that said, here are my suggestions, wrapped nicely into the 5 Steps To Success
Step 1: Make A List
With your team (nobody should work in a vacuum), make a list of all the things you think you, as a company, do very well.  Are you the toughest course? Fastest course? Best post-race party? Best athlete support?  Once you have that list, create another list of what you don't do well. 
Step 2: Choose Two
Pick one or two items from your list that you think you do the best. Make it no more than two!  (If you can't figure out just two that you do best, then narrow it down to the ones that you WANT to do the best.)
Step 3: Ask Participants
Survey your past and present participants. Find out what they think you do the best (don't lead them on). Find out what they think you do the worst.  Of the one or two things that YOU selected in Step 2 above, ask them how you compare to other events they've done.  Ask them what would make them come back to your event year over year. Why do they do other events year over year?
Step 4: Validate Your Findings
Compare your survey results to your list.  Are the things your participants said you do best the same ones you selected? If they are, wonderful. More importantly, are those items reasons that people would keep coming back year over year?  If not, what *will* make your participants come back every year?  
Step 5: Own It
Once you are clear you know what you do best and know that it's something that will keep people coming back, own it.  Work your butt off to make sure you are the best in the world at it.  Promote that trait in all you do - advertising, brand positioning, press, everywhere. Do not ever mention your event name, without also talking about the thing you do best.
Easy right?
Yeah, well, it does take a little bit of work.  But if building a continually successful business were so easy, everybody would have one. 
Got questions?  Got comments?  Let me know!  I'd love to hear from you.
And keep up with our blog for more info.
Be back soon!

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