As you try to launch a brand new business, you have many challenges.
One of the most complex is building your customer base, especially when you have to compete with others in your industry that may have been around for years (or even decades) before you began.
So, what sets you apart from them? Why should anyone choose you, the new entrepreneur instead of a known guru?
While every case is a bit different, here are five ways you can compete with these experts and gurus—as you build your business and try to become the “big name” yourself.
Position Yourself for Success – Your competition is out there prospecting.
In fact, they may be looking for new customers right now as you read this article.
While you will need to look for clients or customers sometimes too (it is unavoidable), this can quickly become a never-ending process that will only burn you out if you keep at it too much.
Instead, position yourself as the person that will have customers come to you. It takes time, effort and intelligence, but the rewards are well worth it.
If you position yourself as an expert in your field, people will come to you and you will not have to chase them.
Be elite, perhaps even and make people feel honored to have the opportunity to work with you.
How do you do this?
This is the million dollar question.
While the answer may differ from instance to instance, you can always count on it being something that involves a bit of hard work and a bit of creativity
Make It a Movement – Think about companies like Apple.
Their products are more than just quality electronics; they say something about the people who choose them.
Starbucks coffee is more than just a tasty drink; they represent a lifestyle.
Disney is not just about Mickey Mouse and fun amusement park rides; Disney makes dreams come true.
Make your company, your brand and yourself part of something bigger than just a product.
Create a cause greater than just fulfilling a need or a want and you will suddenly be competing on a bigger stage than you ever thought was possible.
Learn from the Masters – You do not have to figure everything out for yourself.
You don’t have to create everything from scratch either. Instead, you need to find something that is working and do a better job than is currently being done.
While everyone can learn from their mistakes, it takes a very smart and strong person to learn from the mistakes of someone else.
By focusing on what is already being done out there in the world, you can cut down on your learning curve and “jump the line” so to speak.
Develop Your Team – As a brand new entrepreneur you can’t do it all alone.
You may already realize this.
However, you may not have realized that you can’t expect just to stumble onto a fully-developed team that will support you on your journey from a new entrepreneur into a guru.
The best teams work well together because they have grown together from day one.
These groups have developed together, and their leaders have helped to shape them into the team that they are today.
Instead of just focusing on who you choose to be on your staff, focus on what you will do to develop these individuals, shape these people and get the best from them.
Create Brand Advocates and Personal Fans – You need fans that will sing your praises
The chances of your potential customer base falling at your feet and doing what you want, just because you want them to, is next to non-existent. You will have to create fans that will respond in a positive, excited manner.
Creating fans in this manner takes time, effort and dedication.
As you put time and effort into creating these fans, do not lose touch with the fans you’ve already developed. Remember that it is much harder to earn the trust of a new customer than it is to take care of one that already exists and already trusts you.
At the end of the day, the purpose of your business is to create fans that will do your promotion for you. Outstanding customer or client support and service goes a long way towards making this happen.
Finally, remember that your passion will breed passion in your customers.
As you can see, many things go into developing you and your business and helping you to compete on a level playing field with the “big names.” It is important that you take advantage of each of these opportunities and any others that come your way. Opportunity seldom knocks twice—so get out there and answer!