Friday, February 11, 2011

Set Yourself Apart from the Competition

How do you set yourself apart from the competition?  What makes you the person anyone should do business with?  Being able to answer these questions is crucial to your success this year.
When trying to create your competitive edge it's important to take some time to look at your competitors.  Identify them, rank them, analyze them.  Then take the time to create your competitive edge list:  the unique and positive differentiators that make your products or services special.
When you identify your competitive edge, you are well on your way to building your brand and growing your business ... or making an already-strong brand even stronger.   Establishing, and even honing, your competitive edge will help every aspect of your business.
So how do you become clear about your competitive edge?  It starts with taking some time to sit down, pen and paper in hand and write down your business summary.  A business summary is a brief outline of who you are, what you do and what you offer.   This is defining your business; taking the time to know how you want your business structured.  When you are clear about your business summary it will become easier to promote it.
Take a look at who else is in your industry.  Taking a little time to evaluate your competition can provide you with invaluable information that can give you that competitive edge.  Be sure you compare an apple to an apple, but you might ask yourself, "Are my services and fees in line with the competition?"   And more importantly, is the value you offer to clients superior to the value you see your competition delivering.
Now, you can develop your competitive edge.  Create that plan by answering the following questions ... How can you deliver everything the competition offers and then some?  What can you do to stand out?  Why should someone do business with you?  What will you do to provide more value?  How can you think out of the box?  What resources and technology will you utilize to establish a competitive edge?
It's about creating a business worth owning and attracting customers worth having.