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.

 

 

 

Are you in Prison? Small Business Marketing is the way to escape!

Hi there business owners,

In case you are wondering – I’m not referring to Mountjoy or Portlaoise….

Many small business owners are trapped in a prison of their own making. Sounds dramatic?? Well, unfortunately it’s all to true.

For many, there may be a sense of hopelessness about their business. That no matter how hard they work, the results they get are – at best nothing to get excited about – or at worst on a downward spiral… Why s this? Well, most small businesses don’t have a plan… A small business marketing plan! And why would they – sure marketing is only for big businesses – with big budgets for advertising….

That’s a big assumption that most business owners make – and a very wrong one. You see, marketing is everything that you do in your business to attract your ideal customers – and almost as crucial – to repel those customers who are not the type of business that you want to be working with.

And it’s not all about advertising either – nor about big budgets.  Smart marketing is about identifying who your ideal customers is, and about where you will find them. Its about targeting you limited resources at these ideal customers in a laser focused manner and having them respond to you. Effective marketing can be done on a tiny budget – and some of it on no budget at all.

 

The best part about our type of marketing is that most business owners are too comfortable in their current (prison like) situation to make any changes – or their too lazy… This means that for those businesses who do implement some smart marketing tactics – the rewards can be great. And the more marketing that you implement – the greater the rewards and success.

Small business marketing is our passion here at FMB Ireland. gone are the days of relying on a few old fashioned stickers from the Guild to bring in business. We don’t even go down the sticker route – because we know that your customers – or at least those who matter – are smart enough that they won’t fall for the van sticker.

 

You need to be doing a combination of on-line and offline marketing, using genuine testimonials, making use of the grey matter between your ears to differentiate yourself and your business. Small business marketing and working smarter on your business (not in it) will pay handsome rewards. Devising a smart marketing plan and then implementing it will bring greater business success that you can even guess. Why – because you can bet that your competition won’t do it.

Someone at one of my training sessions a few weeks ago, gave me the nickname – “Action Jackson” not because my name is anything remotely like that – but because of my continuous focus on taking action to differentiate and implement. I suppose that I do preach it a bit – but I also walk the talk.

 

If you feel helpless and hopeless about your business prospects – you are trapped in your own prison! Only you can break free from it. You can’t rely on anyone else to change your circumstances.  You have to grow your business yourself and learn to make more sales.

Every week, prospective members ask me – What can your membership do to bring me more business? and my answer is always going to be the same. We will give you the tools to learn how to get good and marketing an sales. we will teach you how to attract more customers. We’ll help to motivate and cajole you into action. But it’s up to you to take the action that will change your fortunes. You are solely responsible for your own fate.

If you want more from your business and your life – you have to take action.  Take responsibility for your own success. Take control of your own life and do something different to grow your business.

Until the next time, have a great day.

Adrian