Differentiate Your Bottom Line
By Tom Irmen
It’s easy to understand why so many small business owners lack the basic marketing skills necessary to help propel themselves forward in today’s competitive environment. Our formal educations likely did not focus on marketing, and even if they did, they were often more focused on theory. And today’s small business owners, saddled with the ever increasing responsibilities of managing their day-to-day business activities, have little time to allocate to honing their marketing skills.
But even if you lack the basic marketing skills necessary to help enhance your small business’ results in its current marketplace, there are still some easy steps you can take to help improve the results you can expect. In the course of my daily activities, I often ask small business owners to describe five or ten factors that help them to successfully differentiate themselves from their competitors. Surprisingly, many of these same business owners have difficulty articulating these differentiating factors.
Now, in defense of these entrepreneurs, most of them were unprepared for my question, but nonetheless, their inability to clearly articulate what positive benefits their customers can expect to experience when doing business with their company is troublesome.
I believe that our inability to articulate these clear differentiators points to a possible disconnect in our marketing efforts to attract new customers or maintain our existing clients. Ask yourself what clear and unique competitive advantages you enjoy. Why do customers who know you well continue to do business with you? What information, if known to potential new customers, would cause them to select your company and not the competition?
Stop describing only what products and services you offer, and begin telling them how they would benefit personally from doing business with your company instead. Combine the logic of what you sell with the emotions that they’ll experience in using your product or service. But, to succeed you’ll have to identify these key differentiators in order to take full advantage of the tremendous potential these differentiators offer. Integrate these differentiators into your marketing strategy and watch your bottom line grow.