How do you differentiate yourself from your competition? If you’re no different than anyone else out there, there is no reason for anyone to select your company.
I have been active on the internet for almost fifteen years. I’m also a 13 year military veteran and graduated from college with highest honors at age 41. Why do I tell you this? It’s not to brag. It’s to set myself apart from the other writers and marketers out there. What are you doing to separate yourself from the crowd?
Here are three things you really need to think about before making another move.
Are you a peacock in a land of penguins? If you’ve read the book of the same name you know what I am talking about here. Some people just can’t help sticking out. They don’t fit the mold of the “typical” business owner or corporate manager, and that can be OK. As a matter of fact, it is more than OK; it is outstanding both literally and figuratively speaking. The term maverick has been overused lately, especially in the political arena, but being a maverick can really work to your advantage, but you need to make it known. Maybe you like to dress a little differently or you have an interesting hobby like performing in the theater or you’ve written a book, or had articles published by the local paper or a trade journal. If people know about those things it can either set you up as an expert or give them something to relate to. (Or both) And those unique personal attributes are worthless if no one knows about them. So make them known.
What makes your company stand out from the crowd? This is important whether you are a solopreneur or the owner or CEO of a billion dollar corporation. If a hundred companies make widgets, and basically they all have the same specs, I am looking for a company that is environmentally friendly, or someone who supports local charity or someone who belongs to the Rotary or… It doesn’t matter so much what the differentiating factor is; it’s going to be attractive to certain customers and that’s why they will select you as their supplier of choice.
And this brings us to number three. Most people do select a company by how they interact with their community. If you are the one always showing up at a township meeting trying to get an easement or an exemption for your business, you may be able to work your way around the regulations, but how does that impact what the neighborhood thinks of you and the way you do business? If you are strictly selling out of the area, it may not affect your bottom line, but no matter what you do certain things have to come local. Whether it’s an eventual expansion of your factory or an addition on your house, your relationship with your neighbors can either come back to bite your behind or it can be an asset.
Whatever makes you and your company unique should be made known. All the benefits that come with good community citizenship and your personal make-up can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Your unique selling proposition is the most important thing when it comes to keeping existing customers and getting new ones, and that is the life blood of any business.