When we work with owners of a small business that wants to grow, they often tell us, “We want to grow our business, but we just don’t see how we can be working any harder than we are already.” We get it. However, more often than not, simply working harder – doing more of the SAME things that you do every day, is not going to result in the growth you desire. As small business owners ourselves, we understand the hard work that goes into making a business thrive.
Instead, try looking at your business in a new way. We ask our clients “what is your unique value to others?” This is more than just defining what makes your business unique. Your business can be incredibly unique but that uniqueness may have little value to the customer.
The real question is, “What makes your business unique AND how does that unique quality create value, or provide a benefit for others?” This can do more for growing your business than any other strategy we know.
When companies spend time being truly thoughtful as they ask themselves, “What is our unique value”, they often gain insight into how they can market their business in an entirely new way, using skills and products that they already have.
On Martha’s Vineyard there is a bead store owned by a lovely woman who employs eight other women. Her store is packed with gorgeous beads, findings, and hand-made jewelry. When I spoke with her this summer, I asked how all her customers found her – she is in an out-of-the way location, off an obscure side street. She told me that her store really became a “destination” when she removed some of her bead displays and added tables with tools for people to make their own jewelry with the help of her staff. Customers used to line up around her cash register asking for help, and since she was formerly a teacher, she could not resist teaching. The store transformed from just another shop – to a shop AND a vacation experience.
She began to market her bead shop as a unique vacation experience, increased her fees, and added more staff. The result? On rainy days, on sweltering hot days, even just beautiful vineyard days, her store ALWAYS has customers in it when other stores frequently might not.
What do you think is the unique value of your business?