Differentiation is the key to success
An estimated four in ten small businesses in the UK fail in their first 5 years. A lack of differentiation is a significant contributor to businesses failing today, or not achieving their ambitions.
Standing out from your competition is critical to your business’s success and how you’ll win those dream customers. Whilst most of us understand the concept, it’s not always as easy as it seems to put it into practice.
As a business owner, it is so easy to fall into the trap of trying offer a range of products or services that are too broad, in the hope that you won’t miss out on sales opportunities. Sadly, the complete opposite is true.
If you want to excel in business today, more than ever you need to differentiate your business to stand out and get noticed to win customers.
The reality is there’s likely to be dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of competitors who do exactly the same as you. Don’t be tempted into doing what seems easy – imitate them, you’ll end up looking more like the business you are trying to differentiate yourself from. This is likely to drive you into simply competing on price. Find ways to differentiate your business and give people a reason to choose YOU.
Here are a few ideas and tips to help you stand out.
1. What makes your business special?
When you compare your business to your competitors, what makes you different from them. Do you offer something they don’t? Is your process matchless? Is your technology unparalleled? Is your service unique or exclusive?
2. Address customer pain points.
Think about why you started your business in the first place. If you want to win customers, think how you solve or alleviate their pain or challenges. If you look at your industry, you might find some customer needs or frustrations that are not being served that you can.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your customers; ask them what other services they wish you offered, or what you could to do to make your service even better. You might uncover some important ways to expand your services in a way that helps you stand out from your competitors. Think about how you solve common problems, easily.
3. Deliver extraordinary service – delight your customers
Plenty of businesses say that service is what makes them different. However, just saying it is not enough. You have to deliver extraordinary service that you can’t get anywhere else. Sometimes the smallest things, or attention to detail can make the biggest impact. How can you deliver what’s unexpected, that will both surprise and delight your customers? If you do this, you’ll be memorable, stand out and have customers raving about you and recommending you to others; they’ll do the shouting for you too.
4. Do business differently
If you want to stand out from your competitors, it pays to do business differently than they do. Finding and exploiting holes in their business model is a great way to set your company apart.
5. Narrow your target market – focus on a niche
When you try to serve everyone, you serve no one. This is especially true with service-based businesses. When you adapt your business model or approach to service a wide variety of customers, its likely you won’t be cost effective and stretch your resources too thinly. Sometimes, that makes it harder for your customers to know if you,re really the right fit for them.
By specialising in a specific customer niche, you can focus on the services and skills that uniquely benefit that customer. Being the best to provide the solution to their unique situation.
Make sure your business stands out from the crowd. If you need a little help, get in touch for some practical assistance firstname.lastname@example.org