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You want your business differentiated, right?

We all want to be different than the rest. We want our business to be better than the competition.

Does your business have “it”?

Does it have the thing that sets it apart? If not, can you create it?

Your differentiators set you apart from your competitors. How you use them is your competitive advantage.

Research shows that organizational growth is more likely to occur when there are strong differentiators.

Finding points of difference is not an easy task, but it’s essential if you want your business to stand out from the crowd.

It’s worth setting aside time to review your business practices and seek out your USPs (unique selling points). The more points you can combine the greater your competitive advantage will be.

When looking for your distinguishing features make sure they are factual, significant and demonstrable. Here are some thoughts to kick off the brainstorming.

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  • In a particular industry – If you are a web designer, build websites for biotech or attorneys or non-profits.
  • In serving a niche role within your client’s business.
  • In the service you offer clients.
  • In serving clients of a specific size – think small, medium or large, revenue, number or employees, etc.

You can specialize in more than one service or area, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Remember to keep it credible, significant and verifiable.


  • On a distinct target audience – Identify a niche instead of trying to serve everyone.
  • On a geographic location – You might only provide a service in your own town, city, metro area, county, state or country.
  • On a particular size of firm.
  • On providing discerning business solutions for challenges your clients face.

To help you focus, create profiles of your ideal customers. Ask yourself: where do they live, work, hang-out, what do they buy, what do they want, what do they need?


  • A unique technology, process or service that is of particular benefit to your client.
  • An exclusive business model.
  • Access to individualized information.
  • Access to select contacts that provide advantageous relationships.
  • Distinctive service.

Study industry standards. How can you change the offer and improve the service provided? If the standard is hourly rates, consider offering fully-inclusive package deals.


  • Any characteristics or credentials that your staff share.
  • Characteristics and credentials shared among clients
  • Experts you have working with you.
  • Notable clients you’ve worked with.
  • Outstanding results and achievements.
  • Your signature accomplishments.
  • Relationships with significant partners.

Now’s not the time for false modesty. Blow your own trumpet and sing your own praises loud and clear for all to hear.


Study what your competitors are doing, and then improve on them.

Do all the hairdressers in your area operate from a physical location? Then consider offering a mobile service.
Remember that combining a number of the factors listed above will provide you with a stronger competitive advantage and differentiate your business. And if you want to stay ahead of the game, you’ll need to make this a continuous process. Keep repeating it because what once made you unique will almost certainly become mainstream.

You’ll also have a competitive advantage when marketing your differentiators if you focus on using language that will appeal to the client. Clients think in terms of ‘what’s in it for me?’ and that’s how you’ll need to communicate if you want that competitive edge.

Finding differentiators is a tough task but the resulting competitive advantages make it well worth it.

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