How Can You Make Your Business Stand Out?

To start a business in this day and age, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. However, you do need to make sure your business is unique enough to stand out. This doesn’t mean coming up with something totally brand new that has never, ever been seen before (not that this won’t work, it just isn’t necessary). It means differentiating yourself from similar businesses in your industry.

Below are some tips to help ensure your business is standing out against an ocean of similar and competitive businesses out there.

Deliver the Best Service Imaginable

One of the best ways to make your business stand out is to deliver the best service imaginable to your customers. If you have a laser focus on offering the best customer service, the news will quickly spread and you can bet a torrent of new customers will come at you in no time.

Make sure you do all you can to improve your process and communication with the customer. Put yourself in their shoes — make sure you actually listen to them too. Make them feel important and make your business all about them. This is how you make your business stand out.

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Make Something About Your Service/Product Unique

You don’t need to make something never been seen before, but you should make something about your product or service unique. For example, you could offer a free personalisation service. This will work for many products and offerings. All you need to do is make sure you have the right equipment, or person on hand if you’re going to outsource.

You can start making your decision by looking at this boss laser review. There are lots of other ways to make your product or service unique, so make sure you figure out how best to do this for your unique business.

Create a Powerful Guarantee

A powerful guarantee will make people feel like they have nothing to lose by working with you. What can you offer? It’ll show just how confident you are in your product and or service.

Become a Social Business

Social businesses get the best response. This is how you show that you’re a genuine, trustworthy business these days. It’s also how you establish yourself as a top business in your niche. Share your expertise! You can do this with a blog, vlog, or both.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re creating unique and helpful content that your audience will keep coming back for. Answer questions and respond to your customers in a timely manner too. Don’t just go for the hard sell — be social. You’ll build better relationships this way.

Be as Transparent as Possible

One of the best things a new business can do is be transparent. Communication is key with customers, but they’ll be able to see right through you if you’re not genuine. Admit mistakes, if something comes up. They’ll respect you a lot more.

How else do you think you can make your business stand out? Leave your thoughts below!

Here Are Some of the Basic Building Blocks of Business

When you’re first starting a business, it can be very hard to make sure that you have everything under control. With a lot of new things to learn about, a lot of startups will miss out or forget some of the most important parts of their building journey. Of course, though, while you will save time during this, you will also find it a lot harder to keep your business afloat without everything it needs. To help you out with this, the post will be going through some of the elements your business won’t be able to live without. With this in mind, you should be able to take all of the stress out of your new company.

Finance and Law

When it comes to money, a lot of small businesses think they have everything they need to get started. In most cases, though, simple accounting software like Freshbooks isn’t enough. Along with this, you also need an expert to be able to monitor, manage, and make changes to the money within in your business.

Of course, though, at the start, you probably won’t have a budget which will enable this sort of recruitment. So, instead, you’ll need to find a bookkeeping firm to help you. This sort of business can handle every aspect of your business’s money, without having to take your attention away from the work that matters.

Alongside money, a lot of start-ups also neglect the law in their area. In most cases, it will be unlikely that there are any rules which stop you from selling your products or from operating in a way which makes sense. But, it’s still worth getting some help. Like your bookkeeping, you can have this sort of area handled by another company.

Legal advice comes in lots of shapes and sizes. The free options you can find online are great, but won’t protect you from things which you miss. Instead, it can be much better to have a professional who already knows what will have to be done.

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Brand and Marketing

With so many competitors out there, modern companies have a harder time than ever when it comes to getting customers to notice them. This is where your brand comes in. Companies with poor or inconsistent branding rarely manage to be successful. Unfortunately, most customers will completely ignore you if you don’t have a good logo, color scheme, and house style to go from.

Along with this, though, your brand also represents the way you act and communicate with customers. To avoid issues in this area, it’s a good idea to get the help of both a PR and a graphic design agency. With these under your belt, it will be easy to tailor your user’s experience for the better.

Once you have a good brand in place, you can start to think about the marketing your business will get involved with. In most cases, it will be essential to at least be posting to social media platforms every couple of days. Along with this, though, you could also start to think about ideas which other companies don’t use. Most websites have mailing lists, giving you an excellent chance to collect customer data. With this data, you can do things like host competitions or sweepstakes, drawing more and more people to your company.

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Products and Services

With a strong sense of control over money, along with branding and marketing perfectly in place, you can start to think about the products and services you offer to your customers. In most cases, customers will expect the best-quality regardless of what they pay for something. So, to make sure you can meet people’s needs in this area, it’s always worth looking at mid-range options which offer good value for money.

Along with this, you should also make sure that the products you choose meet the legal requirements for safety where you’re based and selling to. When buying items from other countries, it can be very easy to overlook factors like this. But, in most cases, it will be hard to prove to customers that your products are worth their money if they don’t work within the law. Instead, it’s best to make sure you understand the regulations you have to follow.

Running a new business is usually a lot of work. With all of the new skills you have to learn, it can feel like you don’t have any time to focus on your actual company. But, with a little bit of help, you can solve this sort of issue before it even impacts you. It just takes some hard work and dedication.

3 Ways Your Business Can Help People in Their Everyday Lives

Above all, you should aim to start a business that is really going to help people in a positive and engaging way. This can be difficult to get right quickly, but it is vital if you want to draw in as many customers as possible and get your business off to a really strong start. Fortunately, there are many industries and types of business which you can go to if you want to help people as much as possible, and that is what we are going to look at today. What are some of the ways that your business can help others in their everyday lives?

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By Helping in a Time of Crisis

Sometimes, just about the worst thing you can imagine happens, and when that is the case you might need the help of someone professional. If you can place your business in the gap that is created in that situation, you might be able to ensure a much stronger future for your business on the whole.

It might be that you use flood damage leads to find customers who are in real dire need of some immediate assistance. Or maybe you are going to go out of your way to start a charity business that helps those in famine, or in areas of constant warfare. However you do it, this can be one of the more noble approaches to business, so it is well worth considering if you are thinking of how to start your next business.

By Offering Something New

Often, the most successful businesses are those which offer something entirely new, something which solves a problem which has existed for a long time. Sometimes, the problem was so ubiquitous that hardly anyone even noticed it, until a business came along to show everyone a better way. If you think you would like to start a business of this kind, then you will need to have a strong head for new and bold creative ideas.

It is extremely difficult to solve a long-existing problem, but if you can manage it you can probably be certain of a long-running and extremely successful business. With that in mind, you might decide that it is actually worth the effort, and the risk, involved in starting such a business. Offer something new, and you are bound to do fairly well at least.

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By Replacing an Old Service with a Better One

It’s not always about coming up with a solution to an old problem, however. It might be that there is already some kind of service out there, but you believe that you could reasonably do better in offering a completely different kind of service towards the same ends.

This can be remarkably effective, especially if you genuinely believe that you are able to do much better than the pre-existing services which are out there. With this, you do want to be a little careful not to tread on any toes. By all means provoke some competition, but try not to get into any legal trouble.

You’re Killing Your Brand and You Don’t Even Realise It

Your brand, while intangible, is one of the most important assets your business holds. The reputation of your business, and how widely this reputation can be spread amongst your target audience, will have a massive impact on your long-term profits, and certainly isn’t something you can afford to ignore.

Unfortunately, many businesses carry on struggling forward with a brand that’s much weaker than it could be. Like many things, this is almost always the business’s own fault! If you’re concerned about the strength of your brand, here are some of the ways you could be killing it.

Believing Your Work Speaks for Itself

Wouldn’t it be nice if all businesses were judged on the merits of their work, rather than anything else? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are a couple of issues with this belief.

First of all, the bulk of your customers aren’t going to be experts in your industry, and won’t be able to make a fair judgment on the quality and integrity of the work you do. You don’t see consumers critiquing a given business in the same way that another business owner does.

Secondly, even if they take an active interest in everything your business does, this doesn’t mean that they’re going to be actively spreading the word, and stimulating visibility for your brand. This is your job, and needs to be achieved through well thought-out marketing campaigns. The quality of your work alone unfortunately isn’t enough to build a brand on.

Read: A Lesson in Making Your Brand Better Than the “Norm”

Thinking Your Customers Are Different

It’s okay to love your existing customer base. After all, without these people, your business would have faltered in its first few months of trading, and you probably wouldn’t be reading this article!

However, believing that your customers are somehow unique for choosing your brand, and using this to justify waiving established marketing conventions, is a big mistake. Yes, we’re all unique, and our behaviors are influenced majorly by our individual backgrounds and personalities.

Having said that, the large majority of consumers have measurable behavioral trends that vary from industry to industry. Even if your product or service means you’ll be marketing to a very specific niche, there are going to be some patterns you can pick up on.

No matter what kind of values or qualities bind your customer base together, these people are always going to make emotional decisions, and back them up with hard, logical facts. If you overlook this, and treat your marketing strategy accordingly, it’s certainly going to come back to bite you.

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“Anyone Can Use Our Product/Service”

Just like the quality standards you apply in your business’s work, you can’t rely on the versatility of your product or service to carry your brand. This is an extremely common and damaging belief that a lot of business owners tend to adopt. Yes, it may be technically true that everyone could use your product or service.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should be marketing to everyone under the sun. Talk to anyone at a premier digital marketing agency, and they’ll affirm that if you try to sell to everyone, you can easily wind up selling to no one. This mistake is especially prevalent amongst tech start-ups and B2B (business-to-business) accounting firms.

Don’t list countless demographics and buyer personas, and try to treat all of them as your company’s specialty. This is only going to dilute your efforts to strengthen your brand, and in some cases, blot out the various strengths that your business actually does have.

Decide on just one or two target demographics that you really excel at marketing to, and then devote more of your resources to these. You can’t be everyone’s go-to brand for a certain product or service, so don’t try!

Dividing Your Marketing Budget Equally Between Your Partners

An increasing number of small and medium businesses have several owners, usually known as partners, who will hold considerable influence over many of the decisions made by the business. With different people making big decisions, all with their own varying interests, you may be afraid of any kind of conflict.

This fear can often lead to CEOs dividing their available marketing resources between all the partners equally. In many cases, this simply leads to a chaotic and confusing mixture of messages, and ultimately, dilution of your brand.

Some firms will even find themselves in a position where they have more than one logo, more than one website, and no kind of consistent positioning or brand identity.

As you can imagine, this will drag a brand through the mud faster than any other blunder, especially with a business’s online presence counting for so much these days.

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Modelling Your Marketing Strategy on Your Closest Competitor’s

Isn’t the reassurance of running with the pack nice? It seems that more and more business owners are allowing their branding materials to be dictated by their closest competitor’s. This is why you see so many websites that follow the same design sensibilities, and why so many brands try to use differentiators that are horribly ineffective.

There may be a certain comfort and reassurance in taking cues from your competitors, but you need to be wary of this. Fitting in with the other players in your niche can be an exceedingly risky marketing strategy.

If you do a little digging, you’ll find that it’s the businesses that use strong and clearly communicated differentiators are the ones that grow efficiently, and are able to maintain a strong, unique brand in the long run.

If you don’t make a point to separate all your branding materials from your closest competitor’s, you’ll quickly become one more drop in a vast ocean.

All business owners think about the strength of their brand, but it’s only the ones who really understand it that win. If you’ve been making any of these branding blunders, or you’re starting to see them on the horizon when you look at your marketing team’s work, it’s time to turn things around.

Build a strong brand, and you’ll be amazed at where it can take you!

Why Blend in When You Can Be Authentic and Standout‏

How many of you have seen a popular company make the attempt to rebrand themselves? I thought as much; almost all of you. Some brands got it right, but a few duds come to mind, like Gap (see below) and Arby’s that did it horribly wrong.

From a design standpoint, when attempting to redo an existing logo design for your business [that has worked well for years and possibly decades], it is important that the personality of that design is preserved. After all, these days branding is more than just visuals. It has evolved into the emotions you feel; the experiences you have interacting with that business’ product or service; and the memories you make.

Gap a lot of grief from loyal customers for trying a new logo
Gap a lot of grief from loyal customers for trying a new logo

Coca-Cola’s classic logo (unchanged for over 100 years) and its “Open Happiness” global campaign are great modern examples of doing it right. Two words come to mind — brand loyalty. When redesigning your logo, bear in mind what your company represents and what you have envisioned for its expansion in the short, medium, to long-term. Form is as important as function; do not forget that.

Do not give up your ‘competitive advantage’! Your brand should be able to tell a story and its visuals are a part of that storytelling. Before you rebrand try to keep in mind the importance of your product and if you are a designer (like myself), before you take on a rebranding project, focus on your client’s unique identity and preserve that explicitly or subtly as is necessary.

Virtually unchanged for 115 years
Virtually unchanged for 115 years

Often times when a business begins to experience growth, in sustaining or expanding that growth potential we seek out ways to improve our product(s) and service(s). Do not be fooled to think that an “improvement” in your brand has to involve a 180 degree move. New is not always better. Old is sometimes best. Sometimes all we need to do is give what has been working a bit of a polish to make it just a little shinier. It “pays” to be authentic.

Disclaimer: NOT a promotional endorsement for Coca-Cola, but their logo’s pretty damn cool.

Editor’s Note: Updated on April 29, 2015