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What Makes You Different?
I like to ask my clients what makes them different, and why they got into business.These days it feels like there are so many businesses that are cookiecutter copies of other businesses. They don’t stand out in the slightest and seemingly have no Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Businesses like this offer nothing new and easily become price focused.
All they have over their competition is a lower price and it becomes a race to the bottom. This can destroy an entire market and I know we’d all like to avoid that.
I like to serve the entrepreneurs who jump into their marketplace because they believe they can offer something different than everybody else out there. These are the people who really want to shake things up.Most of the top businesses in the world today have perfected their USPs and they usually brand them with a pithy saying like “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Or, “fresh hot pizza to your door in 30 minutes or less.”
These are USPs that have taken over their markets and even entered deeply into our cultural consciousness. That’s what you have to aim for if you want to build a business that’s going to be around in 5, 10, or even 20 years from now.
Take The Time
When developing your USP it’s important to take the time to figure out what your core values are.How do you want to be perceived to the world and to your marketplace? What values do you want to emphasis to your employees and outside partners? Do you want to be the quickest? The cheapest? Or the do you want to be known as having best service?
There are no right answers here per se but choosing what you’re all about will help you focus your efforts when trying to grow. Essentially, you are shaping your identity which will form the basis of your reputation.
Ditch Your Ego
In the beginning for a lot of small businesses they are driven by the personality infused by the owner. This is a great place to start, especially in the earlier stages, but if you really want to grow a company then you must leave the ego behind.
If every critical aspect of your business is tied directly to you as the owner then you are actually creating a bottleneck that is blocking your growth. Imagine you run a catering company and you come down with the flu the night of a big job. Without a trained staff of managers and assistants you would have to cancel on your client.
That could be game over right there!
However if you build systems that reflect how you run your business that are scalable then another team member could step in and run the process.
This is why walking into a Walmart in San Bernardino is a fairly similar experience to walking into a Walmart in Tuscaloosa. There is a system in place and a process that reflects how the USP is achieved. Remember all big ideas require more than one person to make them successful.
Track Your Procedures
One of my biggest recommendations to new business owners is to invest your time in documentation. Document all your processes.
You can use a tool like Toggl to see how your time gets spent on a daily basis. Toggl allows you to track your activities down to the minute so you can see what gets down and how to improve your own efficiency.A lot of the time we reach the end of the day and we felt busy, but we didn’t actually accomplish anything. There’s no way we can improve upon anything if we don’t have tracking put in place.
When you can clearly communicate who you are and what your business is about, inside and out, you are on the path to becoming scalable. Don’t get trapped by doing it all yourself, create processes and systems that team members can replicate so your business can grow beyond you.
- List out your core values for your business, consider how you want to be known in your market, by your competitors, and team members.
- Track your daily actions with a tool like Toggl. Use this data to improve your processes and create systems.
- Delegate the non-essentials to team members that can run the system’s you’ve created.
Result You Will Achieve
A strategy to building a unique business that can grow past the personality ownership stage and beyond.
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.