Amy Parker / Creative

What? That's the first question we ask in our strategy workshop. What do you do? If you were explaining your business to someone who had no idea about what you do; how would you describe it to them? Simple eh? Well, you wouldn't believe some of the answers we've had when asking this question. And we get it; in the past we've struggled with this as well. It's not that as business owners we don't know what we do, it's just that we are too close to it. The politics, the stress, the internal struggles and expectations of customers, managers and shareholders. Business is hard. You get blinded by the noise.

As obvious as the question may sound, it's a way of stopping, just for a minute, in order to think in the simplest of terms. Like all the best ideas, simplicity is key. If you can communicate what it is you do in simple terms, then you should find it easy to tell other people.

Try this: Without over-thinking, it or using sentences with big words, write down the answer to this question:

What is your category of business, your product or your service?

Give yourself about 30 seconds.

If the answer isn't one short sentence, go back and simplify it. If it sounds like guff and bluster (we support, manage and facilitate logistically enhanced streams of investment capital via offshore grants supplied via a chain of hard-wired optimised revenue opportunities), then it probably is. If it's confusing to you, how do you think your customers feel?

Hopefully, your answer will be a super-focused sentence that anyone could read and understand. If not, it could be that you are offering too many things, in multiple markets with potentially conflicting messaging. If it looks that way, at least you've started the process of brand discovery.

More from our journal