“How do I make my business stand out on the Internet?” is a question that I’m frequently asked. Once you master the ability to make your business stand out from the competition on-line or off-line, you gain the ability to grow your business in any economy. Standing out from the competition is not only necessary for success, it is absolutely essential for survival in the long-term. You definitely cannot afford for your business to blend into the background – you must stand out. Let’s look at 3 steps to positioning your business to stand out from the competition and maximize your business’s income potential.
Identify your key competitive advantages
Making your business immune from the competition begins with identifying your key competitive advantages. Start by identifying several of your competitors. Then compare your business to each of your competitors. What do you do better than they do? Look beyond pricing. Although your pricing may be better, unless you identify other advantages that your business has, you risk becoming a commodity where the company with the lowest price always wins, regardless of quality or service.
If you sell a product, does yours have better features or functionality? Is your product easier to use or maintain or does it last longer? How does your service compare to the competition? Does your service provide a better result for the customer?
As you compare your business to each of your competitors, one at a time, you are simply making a list of what you do better than they do. This list identifies the strong points of your business – your competitive advantages.
Highlight your most valuable differences
Some of your competitive advantages are more valuable than others. Approach your list of competitive advantages from your customers’ view point. Identify the items on your list that your customers will have the greatest preference for. Remember – your customer cares less about your process than they do about the results that they will receive from using your product or service. Highlighting your most valuable differences is about prominently featuring in all of your marketing the differentiating factors that your customers find most compelling.
Talking with your customers and asking them questions is a great way to better understand which of your advantages they were most attracted by. Split test advertising can help you determine which advantages you should be highlighting the most in your advertising.
Make it easy for people to choose you
Making it easy for people to choose to do business with you involves looking at things from your customers’ perspective and identifying the concerns and obstacles that stand in the way of their doing business with you and then addressing those things.
Is your customer concerned about whether or not your product or service will really work for them? If so, providing testimonials will help address those concerns. A warranty or guarantee can also help address concerns of this kind. Convenient payment methods and finance terms are a way that you can make it easy for people to do business with you.
The fundamentals of differentiating your business from your competitors are the same on-line as they are off-line. It all comes down to your ability to identify and then articulate your most valuable differentiators. When you prominently feature your most compelling advantages in all of your marketing and work to make it easy for people to do business with you, you will not only stand out from your competition and maximize your businesses’ revenue potential – you will make your business immune from your competitors.