Are you different from your competitors?
Are you making something that nobody else is making?
Are you the best in doing what you do?
You need to differentiate yourself from your competition. You need to make something that nobody else is making. You need to be the best.
This is not only about your products and services. One mistake that entrepreneurs make is when they think that their products and services must be different as a one and only thing that differentiate them.
You can differentiate yourself from the competitor’s, and that can be part of your competitive advantage. Your way of communication with your community also can differentiate you and can be valued from your customers. You need to think about that. Start with the question: What’s one most important thing that customers value in me or my business?
Let’s go through a possible process that you as an entrepreneur can use to differentiate yourself and your business.
#1 What are your main competitors?
You can start with the competitors and your current knowledge about them. Simply make a list of the five main competitors for your company.
#2 Ask your customers about competitors
You can ask your customers about what companies they considered before they choose your company. It is important to talk with them also about why they choose you instead of competition.
Sometimes you don’t know the real differentiations that you, and your business had. Furthermore, sometimes what you think that are your differentiators doesn’t mean that your customers think about the same.
#3 Ask your community about your competitors
You already have the information from your customers why not go in your broader community to find additional information about your competition.
You can ask your suppliers. You can ask your peers or other partners about who they consider as your main competitors.
#4 Ask Google
Why are you not asking the biggest database in the world? Start with the keywords that describe your business, your industry or your market. Or simply use keywords you think that your market will use when they make a search about problems that your business solves.
Go to the pages that will be delivered by search engine and make final determinations about are they your real competition.
#5 Make a deeper research
Now when you have more than one information source, you can make a list of the companies as candidates for your top competitors.
Start researching them one by one. Review their websites, check if they are building presence on social media, check customers review sites, visit their physical locations…
Based on this research you can find who are the top five competitors for your business, what they do, what are their strengths, what are their weakness, what they offer, what they don’t offer, what’s good and what’s bad in their offers…
#6 What about your business?
Because you know your most important competition, you can ask the same questions about your business.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What’s your offer?
- What you don’t offer?
- What’s good and what’s bad in your offer?
#7 Make a list of your current and your potential differences
You know enough about your competitors and about yourself. You know about your competitor’s differences and you know your differences. You know what competitor’s differences you like to have.
So now you can make a separate list about your current differences and another list about your potential or future differences that you would like to have.
#8 Make your differentiation statement
Can you write in one statement how your business is different? Don’t think about competition, write your own differentiations that your business has and your competitors didn’t have.