Regardless of your political views, everyone will agree that there is no better example of the need to stand out from the crowd than the current slate of Republican presidential contenders. With seventeen (at last count) individuals vying for the nomination of their party, there is a compelling reason for one candidate to stand out.
You Must Stand Out
It’s no different for businesses. Restaurants, supermarkets, clothing stores—each business must stand out in a manner that allows it to attract a sufficient number of customers to generate and sustain a profit. If your business cannot do this successfully, it will die.
5 Tips to Ensure You Are Heard above the Roar
1.) Do Something Astonishing—I know that this is not terribly specific and therefore not overly helpful. If I were a marketer, I would tell you to “differentiate” your business or create a “unique selling proposition” but, that is not terribly helpful either.
My point is you need to get noticed. To get noticed, you will need to do something that is out of the ordinary, uncommon, extraordinary, surprising—something radically different!
I can’t tell you what that might mean for your business … you need to figure that out for your business. All I can tell you is that you need to do it.
2.) Broaden Your Reach—We are all familiar with the phrase, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Influencer marketing is one of the most favored strategies for creating a buzz and recruiting customers. While this may sound complicated, it really is nothing more than a web-based version of word-of-mouth marketing.
Ease into an influencer marketing campaign by partnering with a successful blogger, sympathetic to your product or service, who has a significant following inclined to be interested in the product or service your business offers.
There are countless Internet sources available to help you along this path. Uncomfortable with the Internet approach? You can still recruit influencers from your customer base and encourage them to promote your product or service by offering perks for referrals.
3.) Put Your Customer First—Business owners are customers too. You have no doubt experienced poor customer service, disappointing products and shabby service levels. Learn from your experience as a consumer to develop customer service strategies, products and services that you, as a consumer, would expect from the company you favor with your business.
In short, be responsible in creating a world-class experience for your customer. Ask yourself, if all else is equal, wouldn’t the company that provides the best customer service win? The answer is yes, of course! More to the point, an excellent customer experience can lead to referrals and affirmative reviews of your product or service.
While this is an effective strategy for long term growth, it will take time and is not a stand-alone solution to the problem of getting your business noticed.
4.) Never Stop Innovating—Getting noticed is not typically going to occur overnight. One thing that can give you a leg up on your competition is to stand by your game plan … as long as you are making progress.
Your competition may tire, become frustrated and give up. By staying focused on your goals and continuing to meet your customer’s needs, you will gain experience, insight and perspectives that few of your competitors will have.
Staying motivated can mean that you will outlast your competition while gaining valuable knowledge in the process.
5.) Learn to Pivot—Not everything you try will be successful. Learning to pivot away from unworkable strategies, failed business models and unsuccessful tactics is critical to becoming a thriving enterprise.
For example, you may have a business model that is geared to high volume and a low margin. If you see that your volume is not supporting this model, then pivot to a low volume, high margin model.
In short, always monitor, measure, and quantify the results you are achieving, or not achieving, with a particular strategy. Even more importantly, never hesitate to make changes when you confirm that something isn’t working.
If you examine really successful businesses it becomes clear that they have implemented not one, not two, but all of these strategies.
Every business begins life with the odds piled against its success. When you think about it, it is remarkable that so many people even try. Some regard entrepreneurs as naïve, others perceive them as brave and still others view them as egotistical.
Realistically, all these traits are present in the entrepreneurial persona. Absent these traits, we would have no new enterprises and we would occupy a rather dull business landscape.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that competition is fierce. They understand that success means carving out their own niche and they understand the importance of differentiating their business from hundreds, if not thousands, of others offering similar products and services.
Andrew Cravenho is the CEO of CBAC, which offers invoice factoring for small businesses. As a serial entrepreneur, Andrew focuses on helping both small and midsize businesses take control of their cash flow.