Small business is always subject to challenges, and it can be a fight to survive, albeit it an exciting one. One of the most difficult challenges that a small business owner will need to deal with is marketing – they will need to make sure that their business can be differentiated from all the others, especially those that offer similar products and services.
You will need to be able to communicate accurately what you do and how you do it and persuade customers that yours is the company to use rather than a competitor’s.
There are a number of different avenues to go down when it comes to differentiating your business, and here are some of them to work on.
What Is Your USP?
Knowing what your USP (unique selling point or proposition) is, is absolutely essential when it comes to differentiating your business.
This means knowing what it is that your business does that others can’t do – it is what makes you different and what you are most confident in when it comes to your product, service, or customer base.
Working out your USP can be a difficult task, and when you first look at your business and compare it to others that are similar, you may not really notice much difference.
This will be a problem when it comes to differentiation because if you can’t tell what makes you special, who will a potential customer be able to? Therefore, take some time to step back and look at the business objectively.
It may take a long while to find your USP, and if you can’t then you will need to actively create one, but as long as you have one, in the end, to hang your marketing from, you will be able to stand out more.
Have A Target Market
In order to stand out and make yourself different to all the rest, you need to know exactly who your target market is.
Once you know this, through detailed market research, you can tailor your marketing directly to them, focusing on the benefits that only your business will be able to offer them. By showing that you can provide a solution to their problems (and you will know what those problems are because you have researched the market thoroughly) you will show them that you are the company that they should use.
Not only will you bring more people to your business and make more sales, but you will also be able to build trust in this way. By showing that you have an understanding of what the customer is going through, and then solving their particular problems, you are proving that you have their best interests at heart, and this will encourage them to buy from you again, and let other people know about your products and services.
Even if your products and services are just the same, or at least very similar, to many other people’s, if you can ensure that your customer service is amazing and really stands out, then you can differentiate yourself.
Many businesses focus only on what they can sell, instead of how they can sell it. You need to aim to create the ultimate experience for your customers from beginning to end.
This includes having a user-friendly website, to begin with, as this is often how customers will determine whether or not to use your business.
If you aren’t confident about building a website yourself, there are cost-effective web designers who can do it for you. Learn more on this website.
Once your website is in place and working well for you, you need to check that the rest of the process is just as good.
You want your customer to be able to contact you easily, order their goods, receive them in plenty of time, and be able to talk to you if there is a problem (and you need to be able to fix things quickly and efficiently).
Adding something extra like a free gift, even if it is just a piece of chocolate, or a pen and pad with your logo on it, or any other small item, can be enough to make you much more memorable than anyone else.
Staying the same is not going to help you find new customers, and even your old customers will start to drift away if you do nothing to change the way you work.
Nothing stays the same, and if the world and technology or causes move on and you are left behind, it will make no difference whether or not your product is great – you will still be overtaken by new companies being created to suit the modern mood and world.
Being innovative and constantly offering your customers new and improved items and services will help to keep you more relevant and ensure that you are not forgotten as time goes on.
You might change the way you deliver your goods, or the packaging, or your web design, or any number of other effective ways that will keep you in people’s minds for longer.
You need to be able to offer more than your customers expect if you want to stand out from the crowd in the marketplace.
Add so much value to your service packages that people choose to come to you over everyone else because they get so much more, for example. Or you could offer more in terms of great discounts and special offers that run for a fair amount of time and allow people to try your goods with less of a risk to themselves because they are spending less.
Whatever you choose to do, giving your customers more for their money will always win your business, but remember that if you give away too much you might find things difficult to sustain, and therefore you will need to work out your budget accurately to start with.
The last thing you want to do is offer too much and find that you just can’t deliver.