How to Separate Your Business From the Competition
When it comes to your business, how do you separate yourself?
It's easy to fall into the status quo, and do things the way everyone else is doing them. Whether it's our marketing style, or how we deliver our product or service, our naturally tendency is to do things the way others are doing them.
As a business owner, you likely know what makes you different. But do your clients or customers?
The book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur outlines 3 areas of innovation. These are 3 buckets your business likely falls into. Once you know your bucket, you can explore how to separate yourself from the pack.
Which area of innovation do you fall in:
Price: Are you the cheapest?
Convenience: Is your product/service easily and readily available?
Quality: Do you offer a top notch experience for your customer?
It's vital to pinpoint where your business falls, and how you can use that to set yourself apart from the competition.
As business owners, our natural tendency is to move toward price. We try and undercut the competition, which typically results in lack luster profit margins. If price is the area you choose, your mission is to find ways to drop your price below the competition.
Companies that compete on price are typically your big-box stores, like Wal-Mart. They have the size and ability to drive prices down. Odds are, this isn't the best route for your business. If convenience is where you stand out, look for ways to make your service more readily available and accessible. Instead of offering oil changes at a garage that people drive to, maybe you change the oil of their car in the parking lot at their office. And, of course, you can charge a premium for the service. Or is your business best suited for quality? Odds are, this is your best bet.
Quality is simple: how can I serve my clients/customers in a way that nobody else is? The best way to determine this is find out what some of the biggest complaints are in your industry. Spend some time looking at 3 star reviews on Yelp (these people are usually positive, but will drop in a thing or 2 they didn't like).
Let's take a hypothetical case study: We recently had our patio redone, and our biggest frustration wasn't with the quality of work (it was great), it was the service. They started 10 days after they said they would and they were late or didn't show most days. Imagine a home renovation company that showed up on time, finished the job when expected, and at the price quoted. I'd pay a premium for that, wouldn't you? Now imagine a company that takes it a step further, and really wants to know how they can further separate themselves. A company digs deep and discovers customers are annoyed with the dead patches of grass left behind from equipment and excessive foot traffic. So XYZ Renovation company starts brainstorming ways to solve this problem. They decide to only keep equipment on hard surfaces for long periods of time and avoid using the same path over and over. To go even further, they partner with a landscape company to mow and treat the yard when the job is done. They even replace sections of grass that need to be replaced. Not only can they charge their customers more, but the customers are happy to pay it for the level of service they receive.
Most business owners struggle with managing their money, resulting in smaller paychecks for themselves. At Craig Dacy Financial Coaching, we help make managing your money simple. That way you can easily run a business that pays you more.