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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

The Sweet Spot

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Did you know that most business owners don’t actually understand who their top customers are? It’s crazy to think about, but it’s true. Maybe you have a good idea of who your own top customers are, and maybe you don’t, but it’s important information to have.

We need to figure out who our top customers are, judging by revenue. When we know that, we can get to our sweet spot. When you work inside your sweet spot, you’re going to get a really clear idea of how to grow your sales.

We’ve been going through this mini series about how to grow a quilt shop, including the four building blocks, because you’ve got to have a solid foundation. In order to have that solid foundation, you need a predictable cash flow, stability, and consistency.

Today we’re going to talk about finding your quilt shop’s sweet spot. Your sweet spot is made up of three distinct parts:

● Unique Offering

● Top Customers

● Systems for Growth

It’s hard to grow your business if you don’t have these three parts or understand what they do.

Unique Offering

Your unique offering is something special you offer that is a little bit different from what everyone else offers. It’s something that you are really good at, that you understand uniquely.

In having a unique offering, you have something different from your competition. If you’re doing the exact same thing as every other quilt store out there, you’re all just blending in and fighting over the same customers. Having a unique offering sets you apart from the rest.

All quilt shops offer generally similar services and products, like fabrics and notions and classes. But your unique offering is the unique spin you put on those products and services. Figuring out what your unique offering could be can sometimes be a challenge. But what I’ve found most helpful is diving in and figuring out who my top customers are and what they’re actually looking for and needing.

Top Customers

Top customer evaluations are a really cool thing to do. Use your POS system to look at who your top customers are over the past twelve months. Ranking your top customers by revenue is the easiest metric we can use, because if somebody values and appreciates what you do and what you sell, they’re going to pay you. Simple as that.

Look at the top twenty or thirty customers and distill them into one top customer avatar. That way, you can replicate the model to find more similar top customers.

Do some analysis on your top twenty and figure out who they are. Where are they located? What projects are they buying? Do they buy kits or yards of fabric or patterns? Try to find similarities.

Then, pick your top ten customers and talk to them, maybe over Zoom or over the phone. You’re going to ask them very specific questions about the quilting industry. You don’t need to ask them anything about your shop specifically.

Ask them what they think would be great for quilt shops to offer? What do they hate about quilt shops? If there was one thing they could change about quilt shops or the quilting industry, what would it be? I have what I call the wish list of questions for interviews with your top customers. I’ll put those out there for you, so when you get those answers you can analyze them. Those answers are going to help you identify what your unique offering is.

Systems for Growth

Your systems aren’t just limited to your software. They could be your standard operating procedures that allow your employees to run your business when you aren’t there.

The systems you have in place help you make the most of your time. You’re limited to how much you can do and get right because there are only so many hours in the day. You can make the most of your time by hiring employees and adding software systems that do more than any individual can do.

Work in Your Sweet Spot

Once you understand your unique offering, your top customers, and you have your systems in place, you’ll be operating in the sweet spot. That’s really where you want to be, because that’s how you’re going to bring in that predictable cash flow.

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