3 Opportunities to Differentiate Your Business

I always ask business owners to tell me what they think separates them from their competition and that’s a tough one.  Because usually what they tell me are the same things I can go and read about on their competitor websites.  Finding a point of differentiation can be challenging, but a little brainstorming can go a long way.

Create a point of differentation.
Photo credit to Shehan Obeysekera

If you don’t convey how your business is different from your competition, the only thing a prospect can compare you on is price.  Educate your prospects with the details on how you’re different so you can take price out the equation.  And a great way to do that is to look at your industry and examine how you do business within that industry to find those opportunities.  Here are 3 excellent opportunities where you can look for ways to differentiate.

1. Examine all your points of interface with a prospect or client.  Take a look at every opportunity where you ‘touch’ the prospect or client and how can you make that are more memorable moment.  Simply sending an invoice is what everyone else does.  What can you do with that invoice to make it more interesting and reflect the personality of your brand and create a more interesting way to receive something as dull, boring, and unwanted as an invoice?

2. Look at your points of friction.  Every business has some point of recurring friction–whether it’s rescheduling appointments or simply the fact that it’s typical in your industry to charge for every mailing or fax that’s completed on a client’s behalf.  Think about the opportunity to here to differentiate yourself from that typical point of discomfort that’s in your process.

3.  Is there something common across your industry that you can change in your business?  Just because it’s common practice in your industry to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it that way too.  Consider these kinds of things excellent opportunities to set yourself apart.  You can build your own client experience and explain ‘this is the way we do it’.

Again, the idea here is to make yourself different from the competition.  And, for some reason, we’re often afraid to do that.  But making yourself that little bit different will help you stand out.  I’m not suggesting that you have to go out and create something that goes completely against the grain of everyone else, but if there’s a way to stand out from the crowd, I’d suggest you take advantage of it.  Creating a client experience that is different and memorable is what people will talk about.  People don’t talk about boring businesses.

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