As a digital business owner/entrepreneur, you will be well aware of the going business failure rates. Statistics show that only 50% of businesses make it past the first five years and only one third make it past the ten-year mark. There are of course many reasons why some businesses fail while others succeed, but lack of differentiation is often at the top. So have you recently asked yourself, “what makes my business stand out?”.
The answer is two-fold. First ask yourself, what are the hard assets that make my business stand out? I’m talking about those things that your customers can see, feel, touch, experience. Think about your website, how easy it is to use, is it mobile-friendly, does it have clear call-to actions? How about your office space? Is it inviting, original, does it reflect your brand identity and what impression does it create when customers (or employees) walk through your doors? And your product? What does the packaging look like? Is it eye-catching and different from competing products? Is it recyclable/environmentally friendly? Does it deliver what it promises in your adverts? And then of course there are your people. Your employees are your single biggest differentiator. How would people outside your company define your team as a whole? What kind of people do you seek out when hiring?
Then there are the softer assets that can help differentiate your business. Think about your industry, how your business fits into it and what gap you are trying to fill. Your capabilities are another asset. Don’t think of your entire list of services, but rather what specific activities would you say you are truly great at and known for? Your competitors might be offering the same stuff, but your specific combination of services is unique, as well as how you approach and implement them. Culture is another one, and no it’s not about that values statement poster in the break room. It’s the vibe you get when you walk into someone’s office for the first time or how you feel when you meet with “those people” from “that company.” Do they celebrate the end of the week with Friday drinks, sing for each other on their birthday, or does everyone complain about being over worked, seem very stressed-out and concerned with cutting costs?
Finally, your operating philosophy can have a huge impact on how your business is perceived and compared to your competitors. People take note of things like your return policy, your project turn-around time, or your procedures for handling complaints. And no other company has your unique combination of processes. Ask the people who are in frequent contact with your business why they love working with you.
Why not use the upcoming Black Friday promotion period to really make your business and brand stand out from your competitors? And remember, your AdMarula Team is only an email away if you need help.
Onwards and upwards!
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