Blog.developing a powerful usp for your small business

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Information about Blog.developing a powerful usp for your small business

Published on February 27, 2014

Author: waranieri



Develop a powerful USP for your small business by using one of these three strategies.

Developing A Powerful USP for your Small Business There are three ways you can set yourself apart: 1. Price Leadership 2. Differentiation 3. Market Focus Most small businesses don't take the time to articulate what it is that makes them different. When this occurs, the customer or client always assumes that price leadership is the difference. When they check out the prices and learn differently, they are disappointed. You must spell out your difference and demonstrate it so that the customer "gets it", and will continue to shop at your establishment if they want that difference. The lesson here is that when you don't spell out the difference, the default in your customer or client's mind is price. Price leadership is a slippery slope unless you have the staying power to continually beat out your competition on this branding strategy. "But, we're not that much different," you say. If that's the case you'll need to add value. In this way you'll have an extra value proposition instead of a unique sales proposition. But before we get there, what can you do to be different? You can deliver more, better or just plain different. More hours, more staff, more professional output, more free add ons. Or, you can be better because of talent on the team, quicker turnaround times, or better product. The idea is to quantify what is is that makes you different.

Try this experiment: ask small business owners why they're different. Invariably, they'll say things like, "Our service. We're better than anyone else." Or maybe they'll say, "Our shoes are the best." This may or may not be true but the client or consumer looking to purchase is hearing the same thing across town from the competition. It needs to be "Our service works like this: we repair air conditioners within four hours, no matter what the problem. If we can't do it in that amount of time, we bring in a (free) commercial grade generator and keep the house cool until we repair the broken unit." That is specific, quantifiable and credible. A great differentiator, which is what you'll want to develop specific to your business so people don't think your business is based on price leadership. Another area of differentiation is market segment or focus. If you want to cater only to a specific niche, you'll eliminate a lot of the competition. Of course that also limits your opportunity but a lot of times you can specialize in an area and then after your image is solidified in that area you can continue in that niche and begin to build another niche with the same type of service. For example, I once owned a string of personal training and rehab centers, One-to-One Fitness & Rehab. (I didn't know it at the time but by providing this type of service and putting it into the name, I actually differentiated myself from other fitness centers.) I started off with personal training, then orthopedic rehab and once our name for specializing was well embedded into the marketplace, I eventually created specific exercise and nutrition programs to market such as child obesity, emotional weight loss, and specific sports conditioning. Focus on a market segment and grow from that point. In conclusion, when developing a USP or EVP, you can go in one of three directions: price, differentiation or market segmentation. Stay away from price unless you can carry it through the long haul. Quantify your difference. Or, specialize. Are you struggling to grow your business? Shoot me an email at and let me know what it is that's slowing you down.

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