4 Simple-But-Overlooked Ways to Stand Out From Your Competition
The Internet allows you to appeal to an unlimited number of prospects but treat each customer as one of a kind.
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With the explosive growth of the Internet, the opportunity for new business has almost become limitless. It's created a central place to tell potential customers who you are and how you can help their life. While the opportunity is great, there will always be competitors doing what you do and trying to reach the same people as you.
There has always been a need in entrepreneurship to stand out. Much has been written about the topic. If this were a business problem that had been solved, I wouldn't be writing this article. There's an easy road that too many entrepreneurs take. This road is when you see a successful business or entrepreneur and you try to copy them. Copying someone else—even if they are successful—doesn't lead to growth in your business or success in life. Here are four simple ways to stand out in today's crowded world of entrepreneurship that move beyond copying or other strategies that won't help you in the long run.
1. Go out of your way to honor what you say.
It's amazing how many businesses and entrepreneurs there are that don't keep the promises they've made. What should be simple is an opportunity for you to stand out if you do what you advertised and mean what you say. Even if it costs you more money, over-deliver on what your business has advertised.
Keeping your word is the foundation of a strong business and one that has the potential to withstand the tests time will bring. Stand out from your competition by doing something that should be a standard practice in business today but isn't. If you can't deliver—then don't promise. Be realistic in what services you can provide and in what time frame.
Related: If You Want That Customer, Mind Your Manners
2. Don't claim other people's ideas as your own -- be original.
It's natural to want to copy success. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs became who they are because they modeled success—they didn't copy it. People buy from someone they know, like and trust. They can never get to that place in their mind if they don't know the real person behind the business.
When you are original you stand out from everyone else that tries to be like everyone else. If an idea is someone else's, give credit where it's do. Take the strategy and make it unique to you and what your business does. People will respect you more for telling the truth—sadly, that's rare in entrepreneurship today.
Related: Professionalism: A Luxury for Corporate America, a Necessity for Entrepreneurs
3. Don't lose your focus on the new and latest "must use" strategies.
With the growth of the Internet has come a new kind of access to people, knowledge, and strategies. Every day you can see a friend or acquaintance post about the latest and must use strategies, software, or hardware. There's always a new social network to join and so on. Before you know it, you've wasted your time doing something that won't help you reach your goals.
One measure of success is you ability to filter. There will always be a new gadget or social network or strategy, but that doesn't mean it's right for your business or where your focus should be right now. Everything has its place and time and it's vitally important to never lose your balance. Focus on what will help your next steps. Focus on one thing at a time. Focus on what will help your customers the most.
Related: 15 Business Etiquette Rules Every Professional Needs to Know
4. Be consistent when you agree to help your client solve a problem.
At the end of the day, someone getting help with their problems is the reason they do business with you. If your business doesn't solve some kind of problem, you won't be in business very long. There are a thousand different things to focus on and that have to get done in a business. You stand out when your focus is on your customer's needs. Listen to what leads and customers are saying their biggest struggles are and then map put a strategy to help them.
Business doesn't have to be complicated. Your competition doesn't have to get business that should be yours. What should be common sense is surprisingly original today. Be true to who you are and the vision for your business. Focus on your customer and honor what you advertise. You will build a business that sees consistent growth.