Many Canadian entrepreneurs tell us that differentiating themselves from their competition is one of their main struggles. But the good news is: it doesn’t have to be painful! Try these 3 tips to help your small business stand out from your competitors.
1) Identify a specific niche
Understanding your business’ overall industry is important, since it’s home to many factors that can influence your business decisions. However, “niching down” even further is a great way to help your business find its differentiating characteristics. For example, your flower shop may be one of dozens of flower shops in your city. But what if customers knew that you were the only florist in town to source its flowers and plants from local growers? This is an immediate differentiating factor, and one that’ll help you stand out from the competition.
2) Ask your existing customers for their perspective
Your happy and loyal customers return to your business because they know and trust you. Asking them for their feedback could be a great way to help you stand out from the competition. The way you do this depends on your customer base. It could be an informal chat with your regulars, or a more traditional customer feedback survey – try a modified version of our quick eight-part customer survey. You may be surprised at the specific things your customers identify as your differentiating factors.
3) Consider a business pivot
A core component of the lean start-up methodology, pivoting is a useful way to iterate quickly based on customer feedback. If your customers identify a different platform, new technology, a new product feature, or something else, that can help you stand out in a crowded market, do some research to see if it could help you stand out from the rest.
Want to learn more about things like identifying your industry, picking a niche, customer satisfaction, and lean start-up? Check out our industry-leading small business training video program for Canadians.