Two guys worked hard by the side of a city street that was designated as part of a beautification project. One dug a hole four feet deep and wide. Another followed him and filled the hole back up with dirt. A third man sat on a city bench waiting for his bus. He was puzzled by this foolish-looking behavior, so he walked over to the workers and asked them what they were up to. The digger said, “I dig the holes and my partner fills them up.” The observer asked why they were doing this. The digger said, “Well, we’re hired to plant those trees over there, but the guy who places them in the holes is out today.”
I’m not much of a joke teller but this one serves as a good example of what can happen when things change in our business niches. Here, the workers were unable to vary from their rigid routine because they lacked the skills to adapt to a new and unexpected circumstance. It’s easy for business owners to fall into this kind of trap, too. Especially when competition arrives in a space they’d previously occupied alone.
Be Serious About Keeping the Lead
Entrepreneurs and business owners are constantly confronted with the need to stand out from their competition. They must think outside the box to find clever ways to shine.
Take the storeowner featured in another joke I heard the other day. She arrived to open her doors one morning and saw a glaring sign on the building next to hers. It read, “Highest Quality.” To her horror, the shop carried merchandise similar to hers. Before she could recover from that shock, she saw another large sign had appeared on the shop on the other side. It held goods like hers, too, and the sign read, “Best Prices!” Thinking fast, she had a huge sign created that read, “Main Entrance,” and she put it over her door.
That business owner clearly knew she needed to take drastic action so she wouldn’t lose her customers to the lofty claims of new competitors. Of course she lives in a joke where such a slight-of-hand solution will suffice. But those of us who live in the real world know it isn’t so easy to fend off new arrivals to our business niches.
The best way to put your business at the forefront of its industry, and to keep it there, is to make sure potential clients know why you are the best choice. The “why” is your differentiator. The thing that sets you apart from your competition. The thing that makes you better than your competition.
Stand Out With Integrity
Finding your differentiator is the first step in the process of establishing and then safeguarding your spot at the top. Your website and marketing materials should be customized to reflect your brand identity by clearly stating what your differentiator is and how it benefits customers or clients. Professionals skilled in creating content for branding your business will ensure that your messaging strikes the right balance.
For example, the joke was on the poor salesman who boasted that his software would cut workloads in half when a prospective customer replied, “That’s great, I’ll take two.”
Use proven results to communicate why your product or service is the best choice for your target market, and the joke will be on your competition.