The famous quote from children’s author Dr. Seuss tells us that, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” The same is true of your business. But are you making your uniqueness stand out from the competition, or are you blending in with the others?
If you make the mistake of offering the same service, using the same language, and advertising yourself in the same way, all this does is make your sales process harder, and prevents you from differentiating yourself in front of your prospects.
So how can you find out what makes your small business unique and use that information to your advantage? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Analyze your competition: Check out your top competitors’ websites, advertising and other marketing messages. Make note of how they present themselves, what services and products they focus on promoting, whom they hire, and how they acquire and keep customers. After review of your competitor data, see if you can find any gaps that you can fill with your company’s offering.
- Ask your customers: Did you ever think to survey your customers to ask them why they hired you or purchased from you? If not, now’s the time to find out. This information can be truly insightful as to how you’re unique. It could be how you handle customer service, the quality of your product, the family-owned aspect, or some other trait. Make a note of the most powerful responses to uncover the answer.
- Carve a niche: If you find yourself struggling to differentiate yourself after analyzing your competition or asking your customers, take a look at your existing customer base and determine if you could specialize in a certain vertical or industry niche. You may feel like this limits your opportunity, but in fact it may do the opposite in positioning you as an expert serving a unique audience, and still doesn’t prevent you from working with other types of customers. Find a way to market to this new niche.
- Find your USP: Finally, after having evaluated your business from the inside out and gaining a new perspective, or after identifying a niche, create your unique selling proposition, or USP. This is the short statement that describes to others how your business stands out. Use this declaration to win over your customers with a compelling reason for them to buy from you to achieve some benefit. Make sure that your competitors cannot claim this exact position, or you’re not being unique enough. Whom do you help, how do you help them, and what’s in it for them? Use this message in your marketing materials and everywhere you can.
By following this simple process of identifying your unique business qualities, you can finally stand out from the competition, while gaining the recognition — and attracting the customers — you so desire.
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