Writing your business plan - Differentiation / USP
What's your USP (unique selling proposition)? What makes your product or service different from others? This is another important part of your plan!
Being unique, or at the very least, very different to what else out there is very difficult and important if you want to grow your business to be significant. There are very few new things out there that have not already been thought of. Look at Apple. They have grown by making the same things as other people, but with huge differences, which appeals to a certain crowd. That crowd is drawn to the Apple brand and normally buy the whole kit and caboodle.
So what makes you different? It can't be passion, everyone has passion.
Have you invented a new piece of technology, or applying an existing widget in a new way, or to a new market?
Does your thing offer a better user experience than what is out there already?
Do you have research backed product, whereas the competition is merely based on anecdotal evidence?
Is there a business model which you will disrupt an existing market like Uber or AirBnB did to taxi and the hotel industries?
Are you going to offer the same as someone else, but for much less money?
Do you have a certain je ne sais quoi that has appealed to your early adopters?
How do you figure out your differences? Start by documenting all of your innovations, USP etc. on a spreadsheet. Look at each area in detail and research if it is that special that you think it will make a difference to your business and write down the answers!
Make a serious effort to review your USP vs your competition. Carrying on from your competitive review, go ask their customers, download their product, subscribe to their service etc. This could save you a lot of wasted time in the future. It might also give you some partnering, or even exit ideas if you think you're building something that could be complimentary.
Here's a nice set of slides by Graham McInnes on market differentiation.
Being different is essential (I think) and knowing it can inform you on pricing, marketing and product development.
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Happy business growing!!