Toni and I had an interesting conversation with a local small business person on Saturday night.

This person and their family have recently launched a business in what is a very crowded vertical and competition, at the end of the vertical that they have chosen, is fierce. Their competitors have all been in business for quite some time and have established themselves on the local scene so breaking into that market is proving to be tough.

One of the first questions I asked during out conversation was what was the unique selling point for their new business … what made them stand out from all their competitors.

The person we were talking to looked a little surprised at first … perhaps no one had asked them that question before and they didn’t really know how to answer it and I think that become obvious when they did finally answer the question.

They finally rattled off a bunch of things that potential customers would find in their business but not one of them was unique. In fact, every one of the points they mentioned could have applied equally to all their competitors.

If there was nothing unique about their business then how were they going to stand out in a very crowded marketplace? What was there about their business that would attract potential customers away from the businesses that already filled the marketplace?

Did that small business person really think that all they had to do was open their business and people would flock to them?

I’m not sure that they looked at it quite like that but it was obvious that they hadn’t given much thought to establishing some point of difference between their business and all those similar businesses that had been established for years.

So what is the unique selling point for your business? What service or feature makes you stand out from all your competitors?

What point of difference can you highlight in your marketing that will attract business away from your competitors?

Perhaps in a big city having something that makes you stand out from the crowd isn’t quite so important but if you’re trying to break into an established market in a country town then you need something that makes you stand out. Without it you will fail … quickly.

So again, let me ask you, what makes you and your business stand out from the crowd?