No business is truly unique the same way that no movie plot is truly original. What makes a successful movie is the unique combination of great script, cast, crew, market conditions and the right budget and marketing. It’s the same for successful businesses. As a business owner, you will be providing services or products online. The same products or services are already available on the market. Your job is to sell or provide those products in a different way to all of the other competitors on the market. You will still need to get the basics right – great website, great sales and marketing, customer services and of course provide a quality product or service… but how you define your business as being different to all the others, and how you market those differences in the form of Unique Selling Points, is what will give your business the unique combination it needs for success.
• Faster or cheaper (or free!) shipping
• The most comprehensive product or service offering
• Specialist, industry recognised or expert knowledge in your field
• Fully qualified staff
• X number of years offline experience
• Generous/interest-free or innovative payment terms for clients
• Hand made or limited edition products
• Cheapest or most exclusive pricing
• Money-back guarantee
• Price match promise
• Invite-only membership/registration
Even if there are thousands of competitors selling the same or similar, even if they have been operating for a lot longer than you and even if they command larger marketing budgets, your business will gain customers if you can clearly identify the USPs that differentiate your business from the competition and help you carve your niche. Your USPs may not be immediately obvious to you, don’t worry, this is all part of the business planning process.