If there is one challenge that every entrepreneur faces across the board, it’s being able to stand out from competition. Do you ever feel like everyone in your industry is doing the same thing, sharing the same message, using the same tone and style?
Standing out from competition may be a difficult task but it’s not impossible. There are major brands that have built strong brand identities for themselves and acquired a large share of the target market in their industries.
As a small business, you can still use the same strategies as your competitors but add a unique spin that makes you unique.
Here are 5 ways to do this;
- Providing Exceptional Customer Service
75% of customers state that they consider customer care as a true test of a company’s competence. Whatever business you are in, create an environment where your customers don’t want to leave. Great customer service is about making sure your customers feel valued and this does not even have to be expensive.
Simple things like calling to follow up if a customer’s issue was resolved, listening and acting on customer feedback, calling a customer beforehand to remind them of an appointment they made stand out and make a customer want to keep coming back.
Another way you can stand out is to be honest with your customers especially if you know you cannot meet a specific need they have. This helps build trust instead of hiding some information or even lying just to make a sale.
- Offer a Powerful Guarantee
Having a guarantee is a great way to draw people to your product/service and boost sales. Guarantees communicate your company’s commitment to stand behind the product or service you provide and makes customers more confident in investing in your product/service.
Examples of popular guarantees are;
- If your competitor offers 6 months warranty on their product, offer a 1 year warranty.
- You can guarantee that every call or email query will be handled within 24 hours.
- You can have a 30 day money refund for customers who will not be satisfied with your product/service.
Depending on your industry, figure out what guarantees you can provide that will make you stand out.
- Constantly Innovate
In this increasingly competitive business environment, innovation is vital to the success of your small business. Being innovative provides an edge and boosts your company’s growth and profitability. Innovation doesn’t have to be a complicated, world changing break through. Even the simple improvements in how you do things can be innovative and stand out.
Here are a couple of innovative ideas that you can incorporate;
- Embrace green energy, it’s much cheaper, reliable and cost effective.
- Improve packaging of products.
- Find creative ways to organize your workspace
- Be Easy to Work With
Having talent, education and experience is no longer enough to survive in today’s competitive economy. Neither is offering the best product/service in the market. Key soft skills such as having a good attitude, having good communication skills influence how likeable you are personally and professionally.
Here are a few other qualities you need;
- Be reliable – Being consistent and dependable will help you win contracts and maintain your work relationships.
- Be honest – In every tough choice you have to make, choose honesty over deception.
- Have a great 1st impression – Whether you like it or not, people are going to form judgments about you the first time they meet you. Make sure your first impression exhibits your professionalism both in real life and on your social media handles.
- Narrow down your Target Market
Narrowing down your target market can be quite tricky. It might not make sense at first since we all want a bigger market so that we can make more profit, right?
Assuming that everyone is your target market when starting a business is a big mistake most new entrepreneurs make. You end up spending time and money attracting them while your actual target market who needs what you offer doesn’t even know you exist since you are not directly targeting them.
If you want to stand out from your competitors, narrow down your market, figure out the little details including what challenges they face, what their needs are, where to find them and how to effectively deliver your message to them.
Are you an entrepreneur? What do you do to stand out from competition? Let us know in the comment box below.