Whatever your business is, it’s safe to assume that you’re not the first person to think of the product or service you’re trying to deliver. 9 times out of 10, you’re not the first person in your area to think of it.
You’re most likely going to have some competition waiting for you, ahead of the curve by sheer virtue of being the first. But if you’re imaginative, first doesn’t have to matter so much. Here are the key features of a distinct business that stand apart from others and stand above its competitors.
Find your niche
Just because you have competitors doesn’t mean that you have to share the exact same market as them. Most businesses have some wiggle room when it comes to finding a specific niche. For many, a niche is as simple as covering a specific geographic area or becoming a more convenient choice in those locations.
Others find their niche by becoming specific in how they offer their services. For instance, one plumber might choose to focus on drainage issues over the average household pipes fix. Before you dedicate yourself to a niche, make sure that there’s a large enough market within that niche to sustain the business.
You can aim your services and marketing beyond your niche, but finding a focus with as much broad appeal while staying distinct to your competitors is highly valuable.
Nail your brand
Regardless of how much money you have (or don’t have), if you have competitors, you have to invest in a brand. To many businesses, this might mean working on a whole new aesthetic and distinct layout for a website.
For businesses delivering products, it’s about finding packaging manufacturers who can help give your product a unique profile, whether it’s using bespoke packages or using a beer label maker to stand out from the other bottles in the local bar. Visuals are only the surface level of the brand, of course, and you have to focus on what the story of the brand is, what the core communicated values are, and what the voice of all branding material should be. But the aesthetics are the most noticeable factor so they come first.
Have unique relationships
It’s a cliché to say that your competitors might have a lot, but they don’t have your fans. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. For longevity, building meaningful relationships with your customers is vital. A focus on customer service is important no matter what business you’re in, but if you can dedicate more time to it than the others on the market, it gives you a distinct advantage.
This support comes in all form, whether it’s direct communication through social media, a premium subscription “feeling” in email marketing, or just offering better customer service options on the site. Put them first and they will choose you first over the others.
So long as you find a focus specific enough, a brand strong enough, and a focus on customer relationships that’s genuine enough, you can survive any field no matter how competitive. Just make sure you do your research beforehand and ensure that the tips above leave enough of the market free for you.