The following is a guest post.
In a competitive marketplace, making sure that your business stands out from the crowd is a vitally important way of getting trade to come your way. If you want to attract new customers and keep them once you have them, there are a few handy hints and tips that can help you grow your business by getting yourself noticed.
Of course you’ll know your core business and what it is you have to offer your customer. Whether its plumbing services, dog walking or office supplies, the type of product you offer is clear. However, what many companies don’t hone in on is their Unique Selling Point. Your USP is the thing that sets you apart from others in your field. Whether it’s offering the best customer service in the business, providing female plumbers and electricians to carry out work in the homes of nervous single women or a speedy delivery guarantee, there will be something about the way you do business that makes you different from everyone else in your field. Once you find it, concentrate on it and put it at the centre of all you do.
One of the problems with large corporations is they can often be hard for customers to relate to. On the other hand, small businesses have the advantage of being able to build a relationship with customers and have an identifiable persona that people can recognize. Whatever it is you and your business personally stand for, make a big deal of it in both direct and indirect communication with customers. Big on your minimal environmental impact? Shout about it! Creating opportunities for young people in the community? Make it a big deal! All these things help to create a character with which customers can identify.
If you want to be noticed, you’re going to need to put yourself and your business out there. There are lots of ways you can do this that are over and above the traditional methods of online and offline advertising. A company that does this particularly well is The Workplace Depot as they place a significant amount of time and effort into promoting their brand, they aspire to be the authority in their niche and maintain a well-rounded and successful online and offline presence. You can reinforce your image by choosing a local charity or sports team to support, putting marketing money into developing both community activities and your profile. Offer your local radio station an advice slot that’s relevant to your business. Invite people to free workshops. The possibilities are endless and not all of them have to be costly.
If you want your business to stand out from the crowd, one of the most important things is to know what you’re standing out from. Understanding your competitors, what they have to offer and how that differs from your own offerings is vital when positioning your business to stand out. Once you have a clear profile of what your competitors are offering and understand their strengths and weaknesses, you can set about making their weaknesses your strengths and being stronger than they are at what they do well.
Everyone who’s anyone these days has a profile on social media that they can use to communicate directly with their customers. Twitter and Facebook are great for straightforward interaction with clients and offering service updates and special offers while more professional networks such as LinkedIn allow you to keep tabs on your competitors and network with people in the same and similar businesses to share ideas and keep things fresh.
Being clear on what you have to offer, how it differs from your competitors and getting that message out there is a relatively simple formula for getting yourself noticed in a busy marketplace. It takes hard work, but if you’re willing to put in the legwork you’ll be rising above the rest before you know it.
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