Standing Out in the Crowd
What Makes You So Special
I was speaking to a friend of mine who is doing very well with his small business. He has been featured in magazines and has been able to network with very successful people within his market, and as I began to pick his brain for insight on how to get on his level, he asked me a question that really made me think. He said, "What makes your business so special?" As I began to explain to him what I felt made my business different from the rest, he stopped me in my tracks and said, "So what? Everyone in your field can say that about their business." He then went on to explain to me that when you are standing before people with your hand out whether its for financial support, an opportunity, or even as a client, there needs to be something about you and your business that stands out. There has to be something about your business that separates you from the rest, and you must be able to express this quickly and precisely.
Investors know whether or not they are going to work with you within the first 15 to 30 seconds of the meeting. If you come in with the same story and the same ideas that they have heard time and time again, you will most likely miss out on an opportunity. You must stand out in order to be heard.
Your service or product should not fit in the typical category of your target market, but you must find your niche and stick to it. It is OK to branch out and have other services that tie into your business, but your niche is what defines you. If you find yourself saying, "The goal of my business is to help others and provide them with the best service possible, dahduh dahduh dah..." Then you probably need to reevaluate the purpose of your business, because that is a typical definition. Every business wants to help others do something. Every business promises customer satisfaction. Every business believes their product is going to better someone else's life. So what makes yours any different from the rest? Narrow your target market, tie it into one specific service or product, and make it your own. This is what people are drawn to. Take Apple for example, they have a wide range of products but their niche is smart technology that provides convenience to their customers. Think about Sean T, he is a personal trainer, but he is known for his crazy workout DVD series which began with Insanity. His niche is providing weight loss and strength training through insane high intensity exercises. Just like there is only one "you" the same should hold true for your business. There has to be something about you that people cannot receive anywhere else. So again, ask yourself this question... What makes you so special?