First and foremost, competition only exists when you’re doing the exact same thing as everyone else. And if that’s the case, you have major challenges on the horizon.
Mark Cuban said, "there are 10,000 people doing the same thing, why would you want to be 10,001?" If you (as a small business owner) want to survive in today's overstuffed, ultra competitive business climate, it's absolutely imperative that you figure out a way to break apart from your direct competition and create your own niche.
Many small business owners fail, because they don't have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and they just get lost in the shuffle. The interesting thing about a USP is that this unique attribute, or feature, doesn't necessarily have to be unique to you, your product, or your service; you only have to create the perception that it is unique in the mind of the audience you are addressing. And if by so doing, you become the only one in your business category talking about your product's special attribute, you end up owning its uniqueness. A strong USP lets you to stand apart from competitors and actively focus your energy on creating things that cater to your ideal group of customers. A few simple fixes, and you'll hit the gas!
By answering the following questions you be well on your way to defining your USP, and the outcome with help you to convey key messages and position your brand in the wider marketplace.
- Why should your customers believe in your brand, product or service?
- What gives you the edge over your competitors?
- How does your business stand out in the wider market?
By answering these three questions you should be able to make a series of strong statements about your brand and how it's unique. If you can't answer them in specific detail, you better go back to the drawing board and figure them out quick. These statements will form part of your key message, which can be used to communicate your USP via your marketing, branding, and advertising strategies. Every part of your business, from letterhead, business cards, signage, brochures, website, apparel, marketing campaigns, email templates, etc., should all clearly validate your USP. Look, if you can't define what the heck you do and why you are different than everyone else, nobody else can either.
Would you do business with you? If yes, why? If not, it's time to make changes. You know your business inside and out, but potential customers don't. So, tell them what makes your business unique, and why they should do business with you? What "value" can you offer them and how can your product, or service, make a positive impact in their life? Think about what impacts your buying decisions, and integrate them into your business strategy. Bottom line, small businesses are imploding fast than ever before, because they are simply not unique. And until small business owners figure out a way to be unique in their space, they have zero chance of survival. There's no denying that we are in challenging times, and it's rough out there.... BUT, YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
Hope this helps a bit. We're here to help!