Run to Win the Race Against the Competition
When someone opens his or her own business, there is passion, purpose, and vision. Risk is involved, and people wouldn’t do it if they didn’t truly believe their idea added value. However, there are so many businesses out there offering similar products and services. Don’t let your business get lost in the crowd. Even if you offer essentially the same products as a competitor, you can still set yourself apart and give people a reason to choose you over the competition. Here are a few ways you can do that.
1. USP: unique selling proposition
What is unique about your business? What do you offer that no one else does? This could be based on a number of things: price, superior service, or exclusive products. If you’re not able to articulate the uniqueness of your business in a couple sentences, take some time to think about how your business is unique. Why should someone buy from you versus a competitor? If you’re struggling to articulate this, maybe one of the below ideas will help you.
2. Exclusive seasonal items
Each new season brings exciting fashions and trends. Can your business somehow take advantage of this? Be sure to advertise any exclusive items, giving people an incentive to visit your store. You could also choose to only have a specific quantity of the item on hand, giving people even greater incentive to check out any exclusive products.
Trader Joe’s is a company that is great at offering exclusive seasonal items. They send out an engaging seasonal flyer with all of their seasonal products. A couple years ago I tried their pumpkin spice coffee, and I loved it. They only offer it in the fall, so the next fall I was really excited to buy more. However, by the time I made it to the store, the coffee was already gone and wouldn’t come again until next year! Thankfully, I was able to find some at another one of their locations. Whew! Follow the example of Trader Joe’s by creating an excitement and urgency for your seasonal items. If you do it right, you can create a following where people are sitting on pins and needles waiting for your seasonal products to make an appearance.
3. Special events
Depending on your location and amount of space you have, you could put on some type of special event, drawing people into your business. Just like with exclusive seasonal items, make your events unique enough so that people are excited to tell others and spread the word.
For example, Macy’s has been doing an elaborate holiday display each year since 1963. People get excited to come to this fun display during the holidays. While your business may not be able to do something on such a large scale, what type of event or display could you do? Offering a free class, live music, or book signings are all great ways to draw a crowd and offer something unique for your customers.
4. Quality of product or service
This point may be obvious, but it is also the most important and ties all of the above points together. You can offer a very similar product or service as your competitors, but if your quality outshines your competitors, people are going to choose you over the competition. In addition, how is your customer service? What is the experience like when people come to your business? By offering top-notch customer service, you will win the affection of your customers, making them your greatest advocates.
Hopefully you’re now better able to articulate your unique selling proposition and what sets you apart from the competition. Now, get out there and do it!