There were over 30.2 million registered businesses in the United States in 2020, so standing out from the rest of the pack continues to grow in importance.
Small businesses dominate the overall landscape, as 99.9% of all registered businesses in the country are of the small variety. Each vertical market has different requirements to be classified as a small, medium or large business, in terms of average annual revenue or number of employees.
As such, it’s so important for any business to figure out how to differentiate itself from its competition.
Positioning is a major part of brand strategy, and finding the right differentiator can really help in that area. Barriers for entry may be low nowadays, but it’s still very difficult for businesses to succeed in the current landscape, with 20 percent of small businesses failing in their first year.
To give your business the best chance of survival, it’s vital to create a compelling value proposition that separates you from your competitors. Here are some tips to accomplish exactly that.
Best practices, strategies for creating a value proposition for small businesses
(Medium and large businesses that have grown enough to fall into that category generally don’t need help with their value proposition, so we’re going to focus on small ones. But these tips would generally apply for all businesses as a whole.)
A good value proposition expresses the tangible results or concrete outcomes a customer experiences from using a company’s products or services. It should:
- Show how you solve a problem better than your competition.
- Be a single-sentence headline. It’s sometimes accompanied by a sub-headline, and is often the first bit of copy you’ll see above the fold on a company’s website.
- Contain one key selling point, to differentiate you from your competition. It should focus on why consumers should choose you over the rest of the pack.
- Copy should be clear and concise, and must focus on benefits, rather than features.
- Give consumers a compelling reason to buy from you over your competitors.
Summary: How to create a value proposition to position your business in its market vertical
Market positioning is often overlooked, but is one of the most important factors for the success of any business.
Owners often make the mistake of spending too much time on their logo, or their business name, but that’s not really what branding is about. A brand is the message you want to send to your customers, about who you are, and what you stand for. It’s also about positioning: Using your value proposition to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Focus on these key areas, and you’ll give your business the best chance to thrive.