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How Do You Differentiate Your Small Business?

Posted by Bonnie Bornstein Fertel

Feb 28, 2014 3:13:00 PM

Comparing_Apples_to_Apples_in_small_businessI'm a small business owner, and a small business marketing expert. 


And, I try to see things from both perspectives. 

Actually I'm the owner of two small businesses. Are they in the same industry? No, they're not. Altough businesses come in many varieties, business is business. 

It doesn't matter if your business is unlike others.  In truth, the premise upon which all businesses operate is identical in that the goals are the same. So how does that affect you? More to the point, the question that you should ask is how do you differentiate your business from competitors. In the world of small business marketing, that is key.  Here's what I think all small business owners have in common...

Small business marketing. Sounds easy, right? What is it? And, how do you do it?

All business owners want to:

  • Attract more customers
  • Delight our clients
  • Grow our businesses

Ultimately, success is what we seek. (Ok, we'd consider fame and fortune, but let's stay focused!)
Competing with businesses of the same sort in the 'corporate world' may make a shrinking violet out of a small business owner.

No one likes a wallflower, and not every retailer can compete with the likes of the 'big box stores', online retailers or chic Fifth Avenue boutiques, but then again there's a niche for everyone.

While in the middle of a major renovation in my home, and since I manage marketing campaigns and websites for small business owners, I have daily conversations with many people in different industries. The interesting thing is that each owner literally has the same conundrum. 

  • Fierce competition
  • Price-conscious consumers
  • Economy-driven sales
  • Increasing overhead
  • The internet

And, the list goes on...and on...and on...
So, let's discuss one thing at a time, shall we?

Yes, the business world is built on competition. Without it, there'd be a minimal number of businesses in multiple industries and monopoly would be more than a board game. Differentiation is the key here. How do you stand out? What makes you better than the next guy? How do you go about proving that to your prospects?

  • Get your word out
  • Provide quality products and/or services
  • Say what you'll do, and do what you say
  • Stand behind your company and be proud of your reputation
  • Keep your eye on the end goal: Success


  • There is a finite amount that any one person or company can spend
    • Appreciate it, accommodate it and respect it
  • Someone will always claim to be "cheaper" But will they?
  • Is price the prospects only concern?
  • Apples and oranges are quite different
    • Make the comparison


  • No getting around this...find alternatives
  • Break down the process into stages making it more affordable where possible
  • Ride it out
  • Differentiate your company (there's those apples and oranges again)


  • Recognize that certain expenses are unavoidable
  • Value your employees if you have any, as they are necessary
  • Evaluate where you might cut costs
  • Recognize that everyone has it


  • A two-edged sword - can't live without it, but often causes conflict in pricing
  • Some consumers prefer to touch and feel what they're purchasing
  • Allows for products and services to be offered or sold without boundaries
  • Accessible
  • Without it, we'd not be having this conversation

Multiple shoe stores can sell the same shoe, hair product differences are indistinguisable, the same item by the same manufacturer is the same in any shop...Yes this is all true. You can read an article that may interest you here

The Big Difference...

Wht sets your business apart from others? What can you offer that the next business owner can't? Do you spend more time in preliminary consults? What do you do to gain your prospective client's trust? Are you too busy to devote the time needed to cultivate a business relationship? Are you present in the development of the client's needs throughout the process? Are you partnering with your client? In other words, Focus on how to differentiate your business from competitors.

These types of attributes are priceless. You can cleary see the differtence immediately.
Let's talk about how we can help you.

Learn more about Bonnie B's marketing strategies for small business



Topics: Business is Business

Learn more about Bonnie B's marketing strategies for small business

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