Standing out from the crowd

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Quite often small business owners ask, how do I make my business stand out? Sure competitive pricing, having a website, great advertising, and excellent customer service are necessities but I believe there are other ways to entice potential customers to your business.

Before any of the above are introduced, your business has to communicate its difference to your competitors.

Here are some ways to make your business stand out:

Product – Can you offer a product that is unique or even trendy that your business is associated with that offering? Or, can you extend a product and offer a valuable service to make the product more useful to the customer.

Service – Same goes for a service. This can be the packaging of a service as a product. Consulting is often delivered on an hourly basis. Packaging a consulting job based on an outcome, with defined deliverables and fixed package price is a very effective way to differentiate a service offering.

Offer – Can you become known by an offer you make? For example, an accountant that offers his tax preparation clients a 100% refund on their preparation fee when they refer four new clients.

Unique habit – What about a financial planner who has his client’s car detailed right out in his parking lot when they come in for their annual review. It’s all about adding a unique touch.

Guarantee – This one frightens some people but, you probably guarantee your work anyway, you just don’t say so. Come out and boldly announce that you guarantee results and watch what happens!

Against the competition – Many times you can create your target market by looking for holes in the offerings of your competitors. If everyone in industry fails to address a certain problem, solve it and then you will enjoy a point of difference.

Once you find your chosen strategy or combination of strategies to differentiate your business, all of your advertising and promotion should be centered around that difference.

Commit to it, stay at it and resist the temptation to wander off in the next new direction. Building a brand takes time and patience. The result is what differentiates the winners from the losers in business.

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