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Early in my business I would hear the word “strategy” and my eyes would gloss over. I thought, “Strategy stuff is for the people with MBAs. I’m just a lowly designer.” Consequently, I hid from “strategy” services for years.

As I matured in my business knowledge and wisdom, I realized that it really isn’t all that complicated. In fact, if you can answer five simple questions you’ll be on the right track to define your entire business model; branding, marketing, sales, pricing, offers etc. They all hinge around these five questions and it IS NOT that complicated. (Albeit, sometimes finding the answers to the questions takes time.)

1. Who are the people you want to sell to?

Define your target customer. The deeper you understand your target customer, the easier every business decision will be for you.

2. What problems do these people have?

Likely, the most important thing you can identify about your target customer is the problems they face. Understanding their problems will guide you to create products and services that solve them.

3. What products or services will you offer to solve their problems?

Define your products or services. Establish a price point and prepare to go to market.

4. Where can you find these people?

You’ve locked down your customer, you know their problems, and your offer is ready. Where can you find the customers? This question will help you identify your marketing strategy.

5. Why should these people buy from you instead of your competitors?

You may have heard this question from me before. I believe it is the most important question in all of business. Solving this will unlock massive growth. This is the question that should be haunting your subconscious for as long as you are in business.

You can make a good business by answering number one through four. But if you want to make a great business, figure out the answer to number five.

There you have it, the foundation of your marketing and business MBA. Start solving these questions and your business will reward you.


Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.