Your Unique Path to Small Business Success
Entrepreneurs are inherently unique. Embracing and showcasing your individuality will only serve to amplify the success of your small business.
So what makes your product or service so unique to competitors, in a way that’s important to your potential customers? Perhaps one of the following:
- You have a mind-blowing new invention
- You have the knowledge and power to solve a problem better than anyone else can
- You have come up with a ground-breaking way to cut costs and improve profits
- You are providing a service unlike any other.
It can be a combination of the above items or a range of other scenarios. Whatever the case, to gain an edge in competitive and challenging markets, you must first pinpoint these exclusive attributes and capitalise on their worth. Entrepreneurs who fail within the first five years are typically those who were unable to communicate the intrinsic value of their product or service to the marketplace. In other words, you need to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Identify your main competitor/s, and the main features of your business, and then translate these into benefits as your customer would perceive them.
E.g. if you offer x, how would this benefit the customer? And would this be important to them? And does your competitor also offer this? If it’s not unique to you and important to your customers, it shouldn’t be part of your USP. If you’re unable to identify a USP for your business, you may need to work on what you are offering. Once you have found what’s unique to your business and important to potential customers, you’ll have your USP.
How Can I Effectively Communicate My USP?
- Key Messages – Tell your potential customers what your USP is simply and succinctly. We live in a fast-paced and competitive age. You need to stand out from the competition by using clear key messages in a consistent tone-of-voice, that tell your customers what they can expect from your business, how you are different, and how that will benefit them.
- Branding and Logo – Your business requires a professional, visually stimulating and memorable brand and logo, which communicate your values and what you offer. Anything associated with your business i.e. your packaging, website, letterhead, avatars, business cards etc must proudly display your logo and a consistent look and feel, to help build brand recognition and trust in what you offer.
- Advertising – Another key to your brand strategy, you have to get the word out, tell your target audience what makes you different, and in turn drive sales or generate leads (based on your objectives). An online presence is key in this technology-saturated world we live in. You could start by simply claiming your Google My Business page, and then creating a basic 3-4 page website (e.g. using Wix or similar), and creating a Facebook Company Page. Social media and blogging are low-cost assets you could explore, depending on what’s relevant to your target audience. From here, explore, analyse and test other marketing channels that may reach your potential customers, such as search engine marketing, paid Facebook advertising, SEO, TV, radio, catalogues, print ads etc – you could hire an advertising/digital agency to manage this for you.
Also, don’t forget about the impact that good old-fashioned face-to-face networking and word of mouth can have on your brand. Becoming an effective communicator can greatly enhance your chances of success.
In many industries, it’s helpful for potential customers and clients to meet or get to know you – the unique visionary behind this great idea. Strike up conversations at business events, seminars, or even the coffee shop. As a business owner, you can never know enough people and may just end up meeting the right person who helps you skyrocket to success.
Learn more about marketing strategies you could test for your business.