How you can differentiate your business to get more customers

We talked before about why you should differentiate your business.
This time I’m gonna help you understand how you can differentiate your business and stand out.
You already know that if you can’t be different, that you end up competing on price. And that’s not a place we want to be.
By providing your prospective customers with lots of helpful, valuable and easy to understand information, you will stand out and get more customers.

There are many ways you can do this, but essentially it entails creating good content that will help to educate your customers in a way that positions you and your business as the experts in your field. Read that last bit again so you can let it sink in for a minute….

Be seen as the expert in your field. You’re maybe thinking – Does that mean specialising? Yes it does. You say – but doesn’t that limit the amount of work if I specialise? Well yes in a way, you could say that it limits the work – but on the other hand, if you are a specialist, with specialist knowledge than no-one else has – doesn’t that make you more expensive than a general contractor?

Think about that for a minute. Take the example of painters and decorators and compare what the general painter can charge for their work, versus a specialist french polisher? Its still painting at the end of the day – but a very special painter!

Another example from personal experience. My younger brother Kevin is a sparky. Two years ago he was an electrician like most others. He worked long hours and honestly worked really hard. He’s also a very well trained and very experienced electrician and takes great pride in all his work. However, no matter how proud and neat and tidy he was – he couldn’t charge any more than his competitors – he was just another spark….

That was until I convinced him to “niche down” and specialise in the most expensive area of electrical work that there is. now instead of killing himself working for a wage, he’s working 3 weeks in every four and has more than doubled his income for the weeks that he works. Sometimes he’ll only work two weeks in four – but it doesn’t worry him. He’s far better off than he ever was.

So niching to a speciality is one way of doing it, another is to provide lots of useful information and give it away for free. Give away your trade secrets. Tell the customer about the kind of questions that they should be asking. They will trust you more than everyone else for telling them. It’s a bit like giving them an ethical bribe. give lots of value away in advance and you will be rewarded for it.

The old saying holds true. The more you tell, the more you sell.

Why you should differentiate your business

If you’ve been in business for any longer than a week, you will have had the feeling (at least at some point and maybe quite often), that the lowest price seem to win all the time? Do you feel that your regularly competing on price?

You might feel like you have a better product or service than your competition, that you’re more professional, you’re more reliable and lots of other reasons – yet you still have to compete on price with them?

There are a few reasons why this happens. But chief among the reasons is that you haven’t give your customers enough information to show that you are different.

Okay, now I can hear you say that I’m full of bs.. and that’s kinda understandable. I know. I’ve been there before and actually had the t-shirts printed!!

But here’s the thing. Lowest price does not always win the day. People might tell you that they don’t have any money. They’ll tell you that, but go into their homes. Even in the roughest of housing estates.

Look at the Sony and Samsung TV’s hanging on the wall, the Xbox games, the latest Iphones and Ipads. They mightn’t have enough money to feed their kids, but they’ll always find money for the things that they want.

Go out onto the roads. Just watch the cars on the road for 15 or 20 minutes. Do you notice how many of the cars you see are Audi, BMW and Mercedes? And they will tell you that there’s no money? Don’t believe it for a minute.

If all people wanted was the cheapest of everything – we’d all be driving the crappiest, cheapest cars available. But we don’t.

If you decide that you just want to compete for the low cost work, then that’s fine. But just know that even if you think that you can out price and out work the competition now – that’s a very short sighted approach to business.

If you’re 21 years old, fit and healthy and don’t have a mortgage to pay or children to feed – the you can happily work 12 hours a day and price yourself lower than the competition. Heck, you might even feel like you’re making a small fortune! I’ve been there…. When I was 20/21, I was selling and installing home alarm systems for about 100 (pounds at the time) less than any of my competitors. I was working a full time job and fitting the alarms on the side. It was a great time for me. I worked all the hours available, 12 hours on a Saturday, but I was doing about a grand a week on top of my salary at the time.

My competition hated me though! But i didn’t care. However, if they had been smart, they could have taken that business themselves and closed me out. But they weren’t smart. Most were big, dumb lazy businesses.

Unfortunately, many small businesses, even though their intentions are good, act in the same way as the big dumb, lazy businesses. They look around them at the competition and they do exactly as the competition. If the competition drops their prices – they drop their prices. That’s a downward spiral that there’s no way out of, until someone goes out of business…

So, why differentiate then? Differentiating allows your business to stand out from the crowd – from the competition. Differentiating your business gives your customers more reasons to consider doing business with you – other than just basing a decision on price.

In the absence of any other information – the customer will almost, always revert to the only comparison that they know – and that’s price. If your business chooses to behave like a commodity – then prepare yourself to be treated like a commodity.

Give your customers a good reason to believe that you are the best choice and you can win more business  and get more customers – even at the higher price.




Why your business needs a website

Why does your business need a website?

Once upon a time business owners were led to believe that all they had to do was put a simple site on the internet and the phone would start to ring! Oh, to be back in those days again!

But life isn’t that simple anymore – hasn’t been for a long time. So what’s so special about a website for business?

It always surprises me that there are still so many small businesses that don’t yet have a website. Why is that? Is it because the owners think that it’s an expensive luxury? Most builders and tradespeople still think that it’s too complicated to have…

Maybe at one time that idea could have been justified, but not now.

Regardless of your business, its got to be a necessity – unless your business is in MLM or it’s just a little sideline hobby…

No doubt, someone will prove me wrong – or try to, just to make a point. But realistically it’s nigh on impossible to grow a business in any meaningful way these days without a good website.

Okay, so back to my initial point. Won’t any old website do the job? Most businesses that have a site rely on a brochure type website. Its basically an online version of the paper brochure that you have have in a drawer in your office.

Here’s who we are, here’s what we do and you can contact us if you like on this hotmail account and this is my number in case you want to call me! Oh, and thanks for visiting our site!

It’s a pretty common structure, fairly basic format. It’s better than no site, but its to be though of as entry level.

Consider your business from the customers point of view for a moment… If you will, you’ll soon realise that you need a website for business!

There was a time when the customer picked your number from the yellow pages/ golden pages phone book – or your website. They would call you up with a few questions and ask you to send them “something out” by post or email.

Today, the customer has most of their research done on line before they ever pick up the phone, or email you. They have most of the answers to the questions that they’d though of.

By the time they contact you, its just a matter of who has the best price – and that usually means the lowest price. That is unless, you educate them in advance on why you are the only choice, that you are different than the competition – you are the trusted expert!

So how do you do that? Well your website is the starting point. first impressions count as they say – and i’m not referring to the nice photos that your web designer tell you about or their award winning graphics! That doesn’t matter. It might matter to them – but not to you or your customers.

It’s the content on your site that will make the difference. For two reasons mainly – but there are more. The main reasons are (a) to educate and inform your prospective customer, and (b) to make Google your best friend.

Any why do you need Google on your side? Thats a question for another days work…

Ahhh… I think that’s enough to think about for now. don’t you?

By the way, we’ve got a great deal with one of our suppliers for our members who want to build a website for the first time, or want to replace their old, out of date site. Just ask us about the websites for builders discount. It’s a voucher worth €225 for the month of February.