It’s 2016, and turning an idea into a business has never been easier. After securing a little capital and drawing up a solid business plan, all you really need is a computer and the dedication to succeed. This may sound great, but it’s something of a double-edged sword. Because businesses are springing up at such a high rate, it’s become even more important to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few good ways to do this.
First of all, look for ways to break the current limits of your niche. No matter what you’re selling, there’s going to be some way to think outside the box, and go above and beyond what your competitors are doing. Investing in your R&D, and finding things which you can tweak or add to your products can mean the difference between a product and a luxury product. If you get stuck for ideas with your current business model, you may want to consider creating an entirely new product! Countless businesses have owed all of their success to cool invention ideas. In such a fast-paced world, it can be difficult to come up with these ideas before anyone else. However, if you pin down something innovative and popular enough, it can turn your start-up into a giant.
Another great way to set your business apart is to put more emphasis on your customer service, rather than your marketing. Far too many business owners think that marketing is the one and only way to bring in customers and retain them. While you won’t get anywhere if you neglect your marketing, customer service can be even more important. When I think about any time I’ve bought from a company and then blacklisted them, it always comes down to poor customer service. Whenever I leave a restaurant or a store vowing never to come back, they’ve been impersonal, bland or simply dysfunctional. If you want to gain a profitable and loyal customer base, then you need to make your business more about them. Find out their life stories, the problems they face, and how you can solve them better than anyone. Get it right, and your word-of-mouth referrals will skyrocket!
Finally, try to establish yourself as a specialist in something. If you read enough business journals like this, then I’m sure you’ve heard that old maxim “if you serve everyone you serve no one”. There’s a reason why so many people espouse this saying: it’s demonstrably true! In every industry, the demand is much higher for businesses that are known to be specialists, and have a product or service which serve a select group of people. This makes it much easier for you to attract new business, as you’re solving a very specific problem. Furthermore, it gives you the excuse to charge more for your products or services because you can’t get them anywhere else! Look at your current target market, and think of some way you can narrow it down. You may be surprised at the great ideas that were right under your nose!