Lighthouse Logo FBChallenges1If in 2015, you are looking to work on your business not just in it, check out our weekday posts that get you thinking differently about an aspect of your business.

May's daily challenges will be focus on getting to know your customer.



Day 1:        Logic vs. Reason

Don't assume your customers make purchasing decisions based on logic or reason. Just like a jury, your customers might distrust the parties offering the facts, so they look beyond them for other cues.

Is the salesperson friendly? Does the packaging look expensive? What other cues could your customers be using when deciding to buy or not to buy from you?


Day 2:        Get familiar!

Today's challenge is about familiarity. People are creatures of habit and choose what seems familiar. If you're the new kid on the block, what can you do to get your name out there and make sure it's your company's name that's top of mind?


Day 3:        Follow up is essential!

People are swayed by what they hear last. If you operate in a competitive market, today's challenge is to make sure you follow-up and be the last voice your customer hears before making their decision.


Day 4:        It's not always about being the best, sometimes it's about being the safest choice.

While it's important to produce an excellent product, you also need to eliminate anything that will make you a poor choice. Today's challenge is to look at any barriers that might prevent a customer from purchasing your product or service.


Day 5:        First impressions are everything!

Customers can get bogged down in first impressions and it can be very hard to get them to focus on anything to the contrary. Today's challenge is to do an audit of all your customer touch points and make sure you are creating the right impression.


Day 6:        Getting your customers to act.

One of your biggest competitors can be 'do nothing', especially if your client is worried about making the wrong choice. Today's challenge is to think about ways you can de-risk purchasing your product – maybe a trial, a money-back guarantee or a small initial project?


Day 7:        How will customers justify purchasing or not purchasing from you?

We like to be able to justify our decisions, so spend some time today thinking about why customers might choose your business over your competitors. Have you given them a clear differentiator?


Day 8:        Making it big.

You generally only become famous for one thing, so your challenge today is to decide what that one thing will be and how you plan to deliver it exceptionally well time after time.


Day 9:        Have you heard of the halo effect?

We associate one positive (or negative) quality with others. So, if your waiter is surly, you may associate that with poor quality coffee and unattractive décor. Today's challenge is to pick one positive quality about your product or service and actively promote it and wait for the halo effect to do its magic.


Day 10:       Positioning is not something you do; it's something the market does to you.

Know your positioning in the market and leverage it. Avis did a great job of turning its number two position into a benefit with their ads "We're number two, we try harder".


Day 11:       Do you have a key message?

While it's tempting to provide your prospective clients with a grocery list of all your features and benefits, most of them won't remember them. Far more effective is to focus on one important thing. Today's challenge is to work out which key message is your most important one.


Day 12:       Consistency is key!

Chopping and changing your key messages makes it very hard for your clients to keep up. Say one thing and repeat it time after time.


Day 13:       What's your story?

Clients don't share taglines, they share stories. What stories will appeal to your target customers?


Day 14:       Clients expect you to know your stuff!

Unless they are as qualified as you, they wouldn't know if you were an excellent accountant or lawyer or simply an adequate one. They buy how you make them feel and the relationship you have with them.

Today's challenge is to look at the softer skills in running your business and how you can build a trusted relationship with your clients.


Day 15:       People trust their eyes rather than your words.

Make sure the images you use on your website, social media and advertising say the same thing your words do.


Day 16:       What business are you really in?

People assume restaurants are in the food business whereas restaurants are actually in the entertainment business. Just think about how much attention restaurants pay to décor and promoting the experience of dining there. So what business are you really in?


Day 17:       Perception of Quality

If you offer quality without the perception of quality, your clients may not notice. That's why professional services companies spend so much effort on presentation. It's a visual cue that says 'quality'. What visual cues are you giving your customers?


Day 18:       Visual Repetition

Our memories are largely visual, so while it's tempting to revamp your website, advertising and brochures on a frequent basis; keep in mind that you need to repeat yourself visually so your clients can identify you in a crowd.


Day 19:        Forming Customer Relationships

When you're selling a service you're selling a relationship. Keep in mind that relationships are with people so give your marketing a human face.


Day 20:        Keep it simple!

'Service excellence', 'superior quality', 'cost-effective delivery'.....I'm sure you've heard these clichés before. People just tune them out, so get to the point and tell people in simple language why they should buy from you. Today's challenge is to go over your marketing collateral with a red pen and remove all clichés.


Day 21:        It's time to reflect...

Today's challenge is to go back and think about what you have learned about your customers over the last month. What will you implement and how will you measure success?


For some helpful advice, visit the Lighthouse Facebook page for online articles and resources to help you complete the daily challenges.


About Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre
Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs such as the ACT Microcredit Program for the ACT Government. Visit for more information.