As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in what the other guys are doing. While it’s smart to know what the competition is up to, it’s also important you don’t spend all of your time trying to keep up and as a consequence, lose yourself in the shuffle.
There’s something special about a business that’s able to harness the power of being different. Many customers’ value companies who aren’t afraid to stand apart from the crowd. They appreciate firms who deliver products and services that are made just for them. Businesses thrive when they stay true to themselves and clearly communicate a unique story and vision. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Knowledge is Power
A wise man never knows it all and is always thirsty to learn and do more. The more expertise and skills you have in your industry and trade, the better chance you have of gaining the trust and loyalty of customers. The reason consumers seek out products and services is because they don’t have the tools or knowledge to do it themselves. They’re looking for knowledgeable and reliable businesses and resources to help them out. The next time they’re out looking, make sure it’s you they find.
Specialize in a profession or a craft to show you’ve got the skills to get the job done right. Experience goes a long way. If you have it, let that be known to current and prospective customers. In this case, it’s OK to brag. Focus on one or two talents that you do best and then go out and prove it.
Do you sit around waiting for your phone to ring or are you the one picking up the phone, out meeting new people and interacting with leads on social media? When you own a business, there’s nothing more important than being visible and proactive.
Open communication, outreach and honesty are three areas of business where you should avoid cutting corners. Your customers are real people with obstacles they need to overcome. They rely and depend on you to deliver on your promise and help solve their problems. Be that person who actively seeks out new projects and rolls up their sleeves to work until the job is done right.
These days, it’s hard to do business without being online. As a business owner and sales professional, you need a digital presence on social media. It’s not as scary as it sounds and you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised by the positive outcomes. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Yelp, join a few of the social media platforms and let the community and the world know you exist. We also recommend signing up for a lead manager service so you make it clear you’re serious about doing business with clients in your service area.
Build A Marketing Strategy
Being online is great, but it won’t work if you’re aimlessly and sporadically using these channels. An active social media presence should be a part of your larger marketing strategy and business plan. If you’re not sure where to start, check out some of CraftJack’s marketing and social media blog posts to get a better handle on what you need to know before you begin.
Create A Brand
Even if you’re an individual contractor or sole business owner, you need to have a brand identity. The name, colors, logos and website all play a role in how you’re perceived by the public and competitors.
Your reputation is something you should be concerned about and focused on. You’re not just a name on a sign, but a trusted expert who offers value and one-of-a-kind solutions that no one else in your niche can deliver. Encourage word of mouth promotion by requesting referrals from clients with whom you’ve established strong relationships.
Use Reviews to Your Benefit
Using reviews to your advantage is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the competition. It’s also a way to engage lost, current and potential customers. We live in a very transparent world where people want to know what other people like themselves think about a product. Plain and simple, customers value the opinions, experience and feedback of their peers.
Another way to engage with your customers is to talk about new features you’re considering offering or current products you have on the market, and ask them to chime in with their opinions. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to participate in the conversation, and how their feedback can lead you to tweak products and services in order to do more and conduct better business.
Use these tangible tips to help guide you to a path that differentiates you from the competition. Be sure to highlight how you set yourself apart and how that distinction benefits customers. Most importantly, don’t forget to be yourself.
If you don’t take risks and do things a little differently, you jeopardize getting lost in a sea of other businesses who are just like you. Take some time to think about and ask yourself, what are you going to do to set yourself apart this coming year?