10 steps to making your small business stand out

by Staff Writer

  1. Ask yourself what makes your business different (PredictableProfits.com) If you want your business to stand out, you need to ask yourself what truly makes you different from your competition. That means doing some competitive research from the perspective of your customers. What makes you different?  Why should they buy from you instead? If you have a tough time answering any of these questions, you have some work to do…but it’s a start.
  2. Develop an X-factor (Concur.com) After some good introspection on your business, it’s time to develop an “x-factor” that separates you from your competitors. And not just some minor detail that makes you (somewhat) unique, either. It needs to be something you do or have that nobody else does, it must add value to your business, and (ideally) be something that your competitors can’t do. Focus on your strengths and do something better than everyone else. That’s the secret to truly standing out.
  3. Develop a unique value proposition (RecruitingBlogs.com) Standing out for the sake of standing out isn’t enough. Your customers need to feel like they’re getting value fromwhat makes you different from the rest of your industry. That means either making your products and/or services better, having better prices, or simply offering more bang for the buck. Here’s something you probably already know: people love freebies. Value is everything.
  4. Make your marketing stand out (CreationStudio.ca) See the above three pieces of advice? Now apply that to your marketing. Make it different, do it better than your competitors, and add a value proposition (have sales, events, etc.) This is a chance to get really creative, so don’t waste it. Spare no expense.
  5. Make your brand stand out (YoungGoGetter.com) Having a great logo is one thing, but your brand is so much more than a simple graphic. Your brand should act as a constant reminder to current and potential customers of why you are different and better than your competitors. Branding is perhaps the most integral piece of your marketing strategy and it should do more than just communicate what makes you unique… it should magnify it.
  6. Make your business cards stand out (SmallBizDiamonds.com) There are so many unique and creative ways to do business cards. But once again, being different or creative just for the sake of being noticed isn’t good enough. Make your business cards an extension of your business: different from everyone else, but because you’ve added value.  Otherwise you might as well have plain old paper business cards.
  7. Make your blog stand out (SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com) If you’ve done the hard work of your way to make your business stand out, it’s time to make the most of it. Starting a blog and marketing your business online is a perfect opportunity to do just that. It’s relatively inexpensive and the viral potential (in the age of social media) is remarkably high. But even if your blog doesn’t go “viral” it’s still a great way to connect with your customers, remind them of what makes you better, and turn them into brand enthusiasts.
  8. Don’t be mediocre (WebsitesGiveBack.com) Just because you do one thing really well, isn’t an excuse to keep the status quo on everything else. Step up your game on your entire offer and your customers will notice. The last thing you want is your customers saying, “yeah, they have great [product] but their [other purchasing factor] is so-so.”
  9. Position yourself as an expert (MarketingForSuccess.com) You could have the best offer in the world but still find that customers just don’t come back if they can’t find you credible as an expert in your field. Know your industry inside and out and be more than willing to share that knowledge. This kind of credibility is what builds consumer trust and it’s that kind of trust that will get customers to refer others to your business.
  10. Break the rules (StandOutSales.com) Want your business to be truly unique? Do the opposite of what everyone else does. Conventional wisdom is often wrong, so challenge and rewrite the rules of doing business in your industry. Just be sure you aren’t detracting from the value of your products and services, otherwise it will come off as “gimmicky”.

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