Sometimes, all you need is a kickstart.
That’s all it took for Julia Nable, co-founder (with her partner) of SandorMax, to decide how to position their small Connecticut-based firm after 6+ years in business.
I met with Julia and Zoltan for a 2 hour consultation in June 2011 (almost exactly 6 months ago). Then, in early December, Julia wrote to tell me they’d made great strides with their positioning and their target market, healthcare and bioscience companies – and that they were accepted as speakers at a prestigious industry conference later this year.
I was like a proud parent! Here’s how it happened.
First, like everyone else, they were generalists, until they came to the realization that this approach just wasn’t working. She said, “We were so broad that we were taking any work that came our way. We were too many things to too many people.”
They knew things had to change. That’s when they called me and we spent 2 hours hashing out potential positioning statements and possible markets to focus on. “At the beginning, our big fear was: How do we turn away business? I think that’s what everyone wonders at the beginning. What if someone calls and they have nothing to do with healthcare, do we turn them away?”
Julia likens their new approach to having a tiny herb garden instead of a huge farm. “Before, we had a gigantic farm. The manpower required to go after business was impossible. Now, with the small garden we’re nurturing, we can become experts in this area and create a prospect list we can actually go after. It’s contained enough that we can get a name in this area, and get high-level referrals through the community we’ve created with our clients. It’s something we can perfect.”
I asked Julia to share their positioning process so others who are struggling can see the small steps it takes. In this interview, Julia defined the process and the benefits so clearly. She also talked about:
- How, exactly, they chose their new market.
- The extensive research and competitive analysis they did
- How they retooled their website, and how they handled the projects that no longer fit their positioning
- How she found the industry-focused speaking engagement on LinkedIn.