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Start-Ups

Keys To Setting Yourself Apart From Your Competitors

By Townes Haas   |    January 20, 2016   |    10:32 AM

If you don't have great brand recognition, your customers might confuse you with your competitors. Here's how to set yourself apart.

Be exceptional

It is important to prove to your potential customer base that your small business is unique, that it can deliver a product or a service that other competitors cannot. There are many ways to prove to your customers that your products or services are peerless. For example, using clever marketing to spread the message, you can demonstrate to your potential customers that you are uniquely qualified. You might have expertise that your competitors do not possess and it is important to ensure that your target audience knows this. It is easy enough to start disseminating that message; for example you might begin by sharing information on your unique qualifications through social media, or using an email newsletter.

Take part in special events

A great way to have your brand and small business name stand out from the crowd is to organize or participate in special events that involve you in your local community and attract media attention. Once your small business name becomes associated with this event, it will increase not only people's awareness of your small business brand but also do so in a positive light. It might be a good idea to brainstorm what special events or activities you can get involved with on a regular basis so that these become a part of your yearly business calendar. These events could be anything from sponsoring a charity, helping to set up an art exhibition to promote local artists, holding a yearly Christmas party with a unique attraction or throwing a yearly bash for your local sports team.

Lead the pack

Another way of marking out your difference so as to forge an alluring brand for your small business whilst attracting customers is to be innovative. If you adopt novel ways of conducting your business, offer state-of-the-art solutions, services or products, your small business will acquire a reputation for being cutting edge. If your small business is constantly following what other firms are doing, it will never get the chance to be the leader. Of course, you should be aware of what competitors are doing, but instead of focusing on that you should be expending your energy and branding efforts to develop your strengths so as to break new ground in your industry.

Build long-lasting customer relationships

There is one area where small businesses consistently outperform compared to big businesses: customer service. Small businesses are often associated with personalized, caring customer service. If people identify your brand with excellent customer care, word will spread quickly and you can knock out your competitors. As a small business, you should focus on getting to know your clients, create a meaningful relationship with them and provide tailor-made solutions that outperform your competitors'. Make sure you privilege direct customer contact and rapid response. Whether a customer sends you an email, calls your office, walks into your store or comments on your social media site, make sure to send them a personal, instant response that shows them that you care. By predicting customer needs and providing dedicated service with a smile, your small business can beat the competition.