Being the owner of a small business is a hard task. However, when it works, it’s worth every second of hardship, and that’s one of the reasons there are so many new businesses started each year. Remember, though, that some of those new businesses (and plenty of already established ones) will be your competition, and if you want to expand and succeed, you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd. There are many ways you can do this.
When you sell something, one of the most important elements to bear in mind is that it needs to be different. It needs to be unique. Can you offer a product that no one else is selling? Can you offerone that does the work of differentiating you from your competitors for you? Could it even be so different that your business and your name is the one immediately associated with it? If so, then you have done a good job in selecting something that will boost your sales and your audience. What’s even better is that you won’t have to pay for additional marketing; if the product is good enough and unique enough, it will do it for you.
If you sell a service rather than a physical product, you still need to make it different and unique. That isn’t what is most important here; what’s most important is that you need to package your service like a product. It’s something that your potential customers and clients will appreciate, and it will certainly make you stand out from the crowd. To do this, you need to stop charging anhourly rate, and instead have a firm rate for the entire service, whatever that may be. Having defined deliverables and fixed packages means that it is far easier for your clients to buy things from you. They know exactly what they will be paying, there will be no nasty surprises, and your entire business will come across as utterly trustworthy.
Your packaging is another fantastic way to take the opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s important that your packaging is memorable and engaging, and you should speak to experts such as the professionals at smashbrand creative packaging company who have plenty of experience in creating packaging that sells. Spending money on getting your packaging right can save you money elsewhere because you don’t have to market in other ways.
Rather than offering many different products and services, it’s far better to work on just one or two specific nichesand be an expert in them. This way, you can be the go-to company for your particular specialism, and your name will have a greater reach. As a bonus to doing this, you can raise your prices when you need to without worrying that you will lose out; if no one else is an expert in what you do, and people require your services, then they will pay your new, higher prices.
Although this approach can cost you money, depending on what you sell or provide, it can also be a great way to ensure that you retain current customers and that you find new ones easily. You could try a referralscheme, for example, as the new business you gain will offset anything you give away. Or you might have a money back guarantee. Whatever it is, make sure that it won’t damage you financially if too many people choose to take you up on it.
Treating your customers well, whether that be in your physical store, over the telephone, through email, or even on social media, is essential to stand out from the crowd. People will want to come back to somewhere where they were treated well, where they were welcomed, where their needs were met, where people were polite and attentive to them. It’s where they would rather spend their money, not somewhere where they are ignored, where it is clear that the only thing the business is interested in is their money, and where there is no element of the personal touch. It doesn’t take much to ensure that every interaction your company has with clients and potential customers is a good one. Fall into the habit of treating everyone well, and you will differentiate yourself from your competition. You’ll also have a happier, healthier attitude in general.
Positioning yourself as a problem solver is another excellent way to make yourself different to everyone else. If a customer needs to buy something, or they need a service, then they have a problem that needs to be solved. It could be something small, it could be much bigger, but they are looking for answers more than anything else. So, when they buy your product, gently probe, and find out why they might want it. Then offer advice on how to use the tool, how to install the program, or anything else. Many businesses won’t want to talk about the specific problem in case it brings a negative view of their company. It won’t. It will do the opposite, showing that not only do you understand your own business perfectly but that you also care about your customers. Therefore, don’t be afraid to suggest that they have a problem, as long as you also suggest how they can solve it.
If You’re Not Sure, Find Out
If you don’t know what makes you different to everyone else, it will help your business if you can find out. The easiest way to do this is to speak to your customers and ask them why they come to you, rather than anyone else. Whatever you learn in these surveys, you can use to your advantage. It might be that you are most conveniently located; perfect, you can highlight your location in your advertising. It might be that your product is of the highest quality. That means you can potentially increase your prices because you don’t have to try to undercut a competitor whose products are of lower quality. You will learn a lot, and even if you don’t like or weren’t expecting the answers, you still need to listen.