Many new businesses are a replica of an existing business which an entrepreneur believes he can duplicate and make money. I received a call this morning from an excited person who was motivated to call after reading one of my blogs. He was starting his second new business and had a question regarding marketing. I asked if the first business was still open and he said that he had to close it after 3 years because it wasn’t doing very well.
My next questions was,” do you have a written business and marketing plan”? The answer was,” no but I know how do to those as I did them for my first business”. The next statement really bothered me, “I can always dust off my last plan and reuse it”.
The conversation once again turned to the reason for the call, “I need help with branding my business”.
I asked for more details on this new venture and was not surprised to learn that it was a business that already had hundreds of competitors. Once again I changed the direction of our conversation by asking what makes your company different than the other existing, similar businesses. The answer was simple, “We are going to do a better job”. I persisted and asked again, what makes you different?
All of a sudden my caller had another call coming in and would have to call me back. No, I never did hear back….
Any new business and all existing businesses must constantly ask themselves “what makes us different?” Answers like we are honest, will work harder, we have more energy etc., are what I call “motherhood and apple pie” answers; they carry very little weight in the marketing arena.
Even being different when a new company starts is not enough. Change has to be the constant in attracting new business and a growing company must look at re-inventing itself every year. consider asking yourself “what makes us different” every six months when your marketing plan is updated.
A good example in today’s market is Apple; they have to constantly differentiate themselves with a new product in order to maintain market leadership. Someone will always start another company similar to an existing successful company.
Answer this question today. What makes you different?
One reason God created time was so that there would be a place to bury the failures of the past.
Nick J. Petra CFP www.strategicduck.com
Make it a Successful today!