Can You Describe Your Business In Five Words or Less?

Your goal is five words that describe your company’s focus. And focus is the key – if you can’t describe your business in five (or at most six) words or less, you might be spreading yourself too thin. Or having trouble coming to grips with what you want your company to do.

This is a key point. If you cannot describe your business in five words, this is a great time to sit back and ask yourself what your company stands for. The phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ comes to mind – without focus, how can your small business excel? And you can guarantee that if you cannot describe your company in five words, your prospective clients and visitors cannot, either.

But is five words really a magic number? Looking over advertisements out there, it’s no accident that most slogans are very short. Humans work with a very limited memory, and memorizing is difficult. In fact, scientists have found that seven items is the most people can keep focused on at a time. So setting five as a limit means people will have an easier time remembering everything.

How then do you create a tagline? Start with a paragraph or two describing your operation. Then start taking words away. Combine and compact sentences. Take out everything that doesn’t mention your main focus, and keep rewriting everything that does.

And expect to spend some time on it. For example, awhile back I needed a tagline on one business site. I brainstormed with my wife for several hours about what we wanted the site to do. Ultimately, it was to provide information for small businesses, and home businesses in particular (something I felt qualified to talk about).

As well, no amount of information is worthwhile if it doesn’t benefit, so there had to be a reason for you to visit (after all, McDonald’s didn’t advertise ‘we deserve to sell a burger today’!) The end result was ‘Making YOUR Home-Based Business Succeed!’

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