You’ve taken a total leap of faith and decided to start a business of your own. You’re ready for time and financial freedom and want the flexibility to be your own boss! And with entrepreneurship, you know (or will come to know) that there are many challenges. But one of the struggles I hear about MOST is the idea of a saturated market…
Everyone seems to be selling exactly what you’re selling… am I right?
Here’s the dirty truth.
Saturation is actually VERY hard to come by.
However, I didn’t write this article so that we could debate saturation. I wanted to share these words with you today to encourage you to think differently about you and your business. Because I GET it. It may not technically be “saturated” but it sure is frustrating to look around and feel like you can’t cut through the online noise because there’s so many others in your industry.
So real quick — let’s peek at some advantages of entering a market where you have some healthy competition:
- You clearly have a validated product. No need to worry about whether or not your audience will want what you have to offer.
- You have the opportunity to collaborate with others (instead of compete) — abundance over scarcity.
- You can study others to learn what works and what doesn’t work.
There’s the WHY.
Now the HOW.
Here are 7 key steps to differentiate yourself from your competition:
1. GET CLEAR ON YOUR UNIQUE SAUCE
Products and business aside, you are one in a gazillion. There is no one else like you on this earth. Just because you are selling a service or product that others do, there’s no one like YOU that’s doing that. What makes you unique? What are additional skills, expertise, or knowledge that you have to offer that others don’t?
2. TURNKEY DOESN’T MEAN AUTOPILOT
You may be in an industry where the processes and systems are already created for you and it takes little start-up fees or investment to get your business going. (Amen for that, right?) However, all too often, business owners forget that owning a business still requires basic business procedures to ensure growth and sustainability — just like a traditional brick and mortar business. Just because the infrastructure is there for you to build on, doesn’t mean we can’t skip past the basics. Ask yourself these questions;
- How will I build and scale my business brand and reputation?
- How will I attract my customers?
- How will I retain my customers?
- What additional systems/processes do I need in place to ensure growth and efficiency?
Therefore, treat your business like a BUSINESS. Not a side hustle.
3. TAP INTO CHANGE AND EVOLVE WITH THE MARKET
Understand that having a turnkey business doesn’t mean that we are resilient to the changes in the market. In order for businesses to survive in any industry (“saturated” or not) you have to understand and pay attention to the market, the consumers, and the trends. What used to work five years ago in your industry may not work anymore. Too many people are trying to stick to the same methods of operation without understanding that so many of the variables have changed, including consumer behavior.
4. NICHE DOWN
What’s a niche? A niche is a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. And just because you KNOW you could probably serve an incredibly broad group of people with your products, services and/or opportunity, if you get real specialized with your target audience, you can become much more strategic in your messaging and marketing efforts. Whether you are on the hunt for your ideal prospect, business partner or client — it’s important to take some time to think about who this specific person is.
5. BUILD A TRIBE (AND SERVE THEM)
Your mission should be to build a tribe of raving fans! And you do this by serving, serving, serving. Think about your niche and ways that you could provide value to them (outside of what your product/service has to sell). When you create a group of loyal fans and followers, your business will start to get more attention, and you will start turning fans into customers.
6. CREATE AN EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Just because you’ve gotten a customer, doesn’t mean you should just move on. If want a sustainable business, you MUST keep an eye on customer retention. What are you doing to give your customers a forgettable experience? Remember, they can still move on to your competitors, even IF they already purchased from you. Give them a reason to stay with you, especially since word of mouth is KEY to a relationship-based business.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Most of these steps can be met by a strategic social media marketing plan. Make sure you’ve got it locked down and your optimizing social media in a meaningful way. Too many people get lazy here, with the impression that having an “online business” means just sharing their products and services. That doesn’t work anymore. Tap into your audience, their needs, and show up on social media with purpose.
Yes, friend. it’s going to require more up front work to set yourself apart from the rest… and that’s OK. Because your business has the ability to give you the time, financial, and personal freedom that you always dreamt of!
“Don’t be afraid to be different. Be afraid of being the same.”