So you're planning to start your own business. You might have a great idea, but in most cases, you'll face stiff competition. And if those businesses are already well-established, it can be hard to get noticed. So how can you make your new venture stand out from the rest?
Here are our tips to help you find your niche and turn your idea into a real success.
Do people need your product or service?
Before starting up, are you sure there is a customer need for what you're going to make or do? Friends and family may be too polite to criticise your idea. So get out there and talk to the people who you think will be your customers. Use questionnaires and surveys to discover what they want and if that is the same as what you're planning.
Look at what your competition is doing
Part of your market research with potential customers includes examining what your competitors are doing too. Find out what your potential customers like about your competitors and what they would want to improve.
Also look at your competitors' pricing strategy. If your goods or service cost more, what is going to entice your potential customers to give you a try?
Decide on your unique selling point (USP)
Unless you are doing or selling something entirely different to everyone else, you'll need to identify your unique selling point (USP). If you don't already have a USP, you'll need to find one.
For example, if you're opening a new B&B or hotel, you could make it more disability-friendly by installing a walk-in bath. This can make you stand-out from your competitors as well as open up a whole new market of potential customers who will want to try your services.
Next, you need to make sure that people know what makes you different. Explain what problem your business will solve and why that makes you a better choice than your competitors.
Collaborate with other relevant brands
Some people may be wary of giving a new business their custom. Linking up with an established brand can help to show potential customers you're not a fly-by-night company. Look for businesses or organisations that are already serving your target audience, but are not direct competitors.
Focus on providing an exceptional customer experience
You're a newbie on the market. If someone is prepared to give your business a try, make sure you meet their expectations, or they won't come back. That means carefully thinking about the customer experience and investing in making it as smooth as possible.
Always remember it's not just one loyal customer you may lose. Thanks to review sites, one person's bad experience could put thousands of others off giving you a try.
Find your niche to make your start-up stand out from the rest. If you can offer something different, at the right price, and with excellent customer service, your business can thrive.