Millions of people dream of running their own business. There can be many reasons for this, such as the desire to be in control of your own destiny, a passion for the product or service you sell, or because you believe you can do something better than the current players in a market.
In the age of the internet and interconnected global supply chains that we find ourselves in, it has never been easier to set up a business, helping many more people fulfill their dreams.
Unfortunately, the failure rate of businesses remains stubbornly high. According to Fundera, two in every ten small businesses don’t make it to their first birthday, while 30% don’t make it as far as two years. After five years, half of all firms have folded, while almost three-quarters don’t make it to a decade.
While there are many reasons for this, one of the biggest is the fact that the low barriers to entry that make it easy for entrepreneurs to start up a new business also make it easy for their competitors to enter the same market. This means it’s more important than ever before to make your business stand out from a very big crowd.
The best entrepreneurs will find innovative and creative ways to do it, but here is a little inspiration to help you come up with some ideas.
Promotions are a great way to get attention for your business or product as they provide you with an opportunity to run ads to communicate with potential customers while offering them something of real value. In some cases, you can even pick up organic press coverage if your promotion is particularly generous or rare. In early May 2021, the coffee chain Costa slashed the price of its drinks to just 50p for several days, a sale that was reported on by most of the UK’s major newspapers.
These promotions may be time-limited, or you might choose to run them indefinitely. Many online casinos offer free spin bonuses to their customers as part of promotions or for completing certain challenges. While some of these promotions will only run for a few weeks, there are many slot games that offer free spins year-round.
Sometimes, entrepreneurs may choose to run promotions that cost more than they’ll receive in return. These are known as “loss leaders” and are used to capture the attention of customers, often to get them into a store, where the business hopes they’ll spend more on other items.
In the UK, discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl use loss leaders on everything from games consoles to power tools to get people into their stores. While they’re there, the supermarkets know that most customers will then also buy their groceries at the same time to save them from making multiple trips that week.
Find Your USP
Some businesses are the cheapest. Some provide greater convenience. Others offer the best quality. You can’t compete on all of these points, at best you can manage two, so it’s important for entrepreneurs to find their unique selling point (USP).
Your USP is something that you do differently from your competition. British Airways and Ryanair both offer the same basic service, they fly you from one location to another. However, they both have very different USPs that help to set them apart.
Ryanair is a cheap and cheerful airline that offers low prices in exchange for subjectively inferior service and charges customers extra for things you’d expect to get free elsewhere. On the other hand, British Airways has built its brand around offering a “premium” service with most things you’d pay extra for with Ryanair included in the cost of the airfare. BA is also likely to fly to larger airports, while Ryanair planes may land you in remote locations that have longer transfer times.
Offer a Personal Service
With the rise of eCommerce, the personal service offered by many smaller businesses has been lost. While some people like the convenience that comes from being able to click a button and have whatever you ordered be delivered within just a few hours, others long for a time where you could have a chat with a shopkeeper to get advice on what was the best option.
Entrepreneurs are starting to realize this and have begun offering a service that’s more personal. Some are doing this the traditional way, by hiring employees to answer questions for their customers, while others are using technology to make recommendations or to allow buyers to customize their products.
Nike is a company that combines the two. If you visit one of its stores, an employee can assist you in finding the shoes and sportswear that will suit you best in terms of the type of exercise you do. They’ll also use technology to analyze the way you walk and move to make better suggestions.
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