5 Actionable Ways to Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition
I'm a big fan of competition - probably more than most people think. In fact, competition drives me - to become better, to think more strategically and creatively, and to evolve and go past any obstacles that are in front of me.
But how is competition affecting your small business? Are you really different from your competition, or are you just saying that? Just think about it.
To tell you the truth, sometimes it can be hard to figure out what distinguishes you from the rest, but it's far from impossible. I'm a big believer that whenever you do figure out your edge, you'll grow much quicker as a person and/or as a business than you would if you didn't take the time to identify it.
I just really want to see people win at whatever they do. Become the best. Constantly evolve.— Matt Varughese (@mattvaru) October 20, 2016
My entire team at Websterpeace is dedicated to seeing success in the lives of others, which is why we help our clients identify what sets them apart from the very beginning. Can't identify what sets you apart? Try using these 5 ideas as a starting point for yourself or your small business.
1) Become easy to do business with
No one likes to deal with difficult people - that's pretty common knowledge. One thing that sets Websterpeace apart from the rest of our competition is that we're incredibly easy to work with, from start to finish.
I think one of the biggest reasons that our clients like working with us is that we are easily accessible almost 24/7. Every single one of our clients knows without a doubt that they can call me or text me personally at any time of the day or night if they've got a question, and they rest assured knowing that someone from Websterpeace will be there if they ever need it.
And as a company, we're incredibly transparent. We don't up-charge third party products if we use them, and we don't nickel-and-dime our clients. It's not our M.O. and it never will be. We want what's best for you - and because of that, we stay objective with everything that we do.
2) Stop talking, start listening
Your customers will forever be your greatest source of learning. Without them, you don't have a business - you have a concept.
I genuinely believe that getting feedback from your customers will give you a huge advantage over your competition; it allows you to adapt quicker in a world and marketplace that's constantly changing, so... start asking questions, but not just any questions. Start asking the right questions.
Learn why a customer came to your coffee shop over someone else's. Learn why they bought your T-Shirt versus the T-Shirt at the shop next door. Learn why they hired you to do the job versus the guy or girl that's equally as qualified. Asking the right questions will put you on the right track to figuring out your edge.
3) Add value always.
I can't stress this point enough. There will always be people trying to do the same thing as you, but if you can add value and they can't - you've instantly become an indispensable asset to someone's business.
Most of the time someone contacts Websterpeace, it's because they've got a problem with their business that they want resolved, and we're kind of in the business of fixing those problems. By equipping yourself with the skills to identify and solve someone's problems, you've added value. And by adding value to someone else's company, you've in turn added value back into your own company. It's a win-win.
4) Analyze your competition
If you don't know what your competition is doing, how can you really tell someone that you or your business is different? Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or a skilled veteran with 30+ years of experience, knowing what your competition is doing is key.
Take the time to figure out who your top 3 competitors are and analyze why they are your competition. Are they offering something you're not? What are they doing that sets themselves apart?
Whatever you do, don't try to copy someone else's edge. I could write a whole different post about this, but simply put, it's like this: copying someone else's success will eventually lead to failure. Those who are genuinely creative will always end up on top because they'll keep innovating to make sure they maintain their competitive advantage. I've personally seen far too many businesses fall behind the curve because they want to copy someone else's edge and hope it works for them.
5) Stay Relevant and Stay Innovative
The guy pictured above, Gary Vaynerchuk, is my favorite entrepreneur of all time. (If you haven't heard of him, PLEASE watch his YouTube videos. I would rate his advice as a solid 11/10 if it was even possible. Keep in mind though, some are NSFW.)
Anyway, Gary constantly speaks on keeping yourself and your skill sets relevant to the times that we live, and I couldn't agree more. Once you think you're the smartest person in the room, you've already lost the battle.
Never stop learning about your industry and your customer base, and expand your own skill sets constantly. Become the guy/girl that people go to when they have a question. Position yourself to become the expert in your industry, and you'll have no problem staying relevant.
How are you different from your competition? I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Let's talk over on Twitter.