Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Scaling: Positioning Your Small Business for Success

Written by Ian Smith on September 24, 2013 in Small Business  |   No comments

As any small business owner knows, marketing is an integral part of bringing in new customers. Whether it’s done via email, social media, or old-fashioned word of mouth, you need to get the word out—you can’t get new customers if they don’t know you exist….

small business owner, small business marketingAs any small business owner knows, marketing is an integral part of bringing in new customers. Whether it’s done via email, social media, or old-fashioned word of mouth, you need to get the word out—you can’t get new customers if they don’t know you exist.

But you will never drive sales or attract your ideal customers (or job candidates, for that matter) until you properly position yourself in the market. Simply put, positioning is defining for consumers who you are and what your company is all about.

By positioning your business, you can define your unique niche and convey to consumers how you can fill their needs. You can better execute sales and marketing campaigns, craft more informative white papers, and close sales more effectively.

It’s never too late to revisit positioning. Consider using the guide below as you attempt to build a remarkable business that satisfies a clear need and to clearly convey to your customer the results you can achieve.

Phase 1: The strategic audit. Repositioning starts with asking questions about your business, industry, and market developments. Are consumption or market patterns changing? Are new business models emerging? Why are margins dropping? Is new legislation in the works that could impact you? Is your company’s market share dropping off? These are some examples of the hundreds of important questions that you might consider. Your answers will allow you to insightfully interpret your business and customer needs.

Assess what is working with your current positioning strategy and why, and also identify lack of focus and inconsistencies in that strategy. Use diagnostic questions like those above to understand what the market needs and how your company addresses those needs. This will help you draw together insightful conclusions into your current performance, helping you to articulate your current positioning.

In this discovery phase, take a look at your competitors’ offerings and their success rates, as well as macro trends and market needs.

Phase 2: Repositioning workshops. This is a great technique for reviewing the best way forward. Rehearsing potential market segments that your company could dominate is no easy task, so it may be a good idea to get your team involved.

Assign each workshop participant a key position paper to prepare, and advise each participant to distribute it in advance of the workshop. This builds great engagement and ensures issues are thoroughly researched to allow thoughts in the workshop to flow smoothly. Tell the participants to consider how your product or service improves the performance of your client, and remind each of your team members that the vision needs to articulate the business results you wish to achieve for your customers.

You are in the business of improving your client’s business. Define your new positioning from within your business units and then convey this passion and vision to your clients. You need to believe that your new position will transform your company’s future if you want to convince your clients, too.

Phase 3: Validate your new position. It’s easy to believe your own hype, but you need to stress test your positioning and sales scripts with real people—your customers. Engage in deep conversations with your prospects and customers to understand what is resonating. Are you really scratching a big itch in the market? Even if the need for your products and services exists, are your customers aware of this need and of your ability to deliver?

Test-drive the new scripts and listen carefully to your customers in order to better understand what really keeps them up at night. Engage in a meaningful dialogue with special customers, testing your new scripts and new value propositions. Using this feedback, fine-tune your positioning and messaging so that it compels your customers to act.

Phase 4: Develop an execution plan. The execution of a compelling story and great positioning requires that all moving parts of the business—operations, sales, marketing, and product road maps—are recalibrated around your defined identity. Your entire institution needs to embrace the execution of your new positioning strategy.

Draw up your master implementation plan, allocating one senior manager to be accountable for each piece. Build detailed roll-out plans for each key circle of influence in your company, and don’t forget to educate your own staff on the new strategy. Build accountability into your complete positioning project and set milestones to measure success.

You could be a software company with three people, a new brewing company with organic beer, or a bakery that makes cakes for special occasions. No matter what a company does, all small business owners should be asking the same question: Is my company remarkable or invisible? It’s your choice. Companies both large and small need to be ready to change their positioning. You can’t be complacent and then be confused when sales stall.
The next five years are a great opportunity for companies to stake out their unique markets, claim their spaces, work tirelessly to open huge gaps on the competition, and emerge as world-class, high-growth, remarkable businesses.

Ian Smith is the author of “Fulfilling the Potential of Your Business: Big Company Thinking for the Mighty Small Business,” which won the Small Business Book Awards for Management in 2012. His blog, the Smith Report, focuses on ways to scale businesses. In 2010 he founded the Portfolio Partnership to help CEOs fulfill the potential of their businesses. As an ex-CFO, investment banker, venture capitalist, and CEO, Mr. Smith has realized more than $400 million for shareholders over the past 25 years. Still competitive, Ian is ranked in the top 20 in the world at 400m on the track for his age.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.