Taking a leap of faith and starting a solo business venture is never easy — and of course, there’s always an element of risk. But before you take your first big step, consider these five tips to set your start-up apart from the competition.
1. Have a strong USP
Competition is fierce, so there’s no point creating a business that replicates another. One of the most crucial aspects that will determine whether your start-up will sink or swim, is its unique selling point (USP). The key is to study your intended market, research your competitors and create a product or service that delivers something that can’t be found elsewhere.
2. Adopt philanthropy
Of course, we understand that not all start-ups are blessed with a bottomless purse, but pledging a small amount of time, money or assistance to worthy causes can do a lot for your business’s reputation. Philanthropy will demonstrate to consumers that your start-up isn’t like other money-driven, power-hungry businesses — after all, who doesn’t like people who help others? Consider donating goods, helping organisations in your local community, or raising funds for charitable causes, as a little can go a long way.
3. Create a positive online presence
The internet is a powerful tool, so utilise it to your full advantage. Ensure you have a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) on your team to create a detailed and structured marketing campaign, to spread word of what you’re doing. Once you’ve built up a strong following and a loyal customer base, be sure to interact with any comments, posts or shares — even the negative ones, as it will demonstrate your brand's customer service to other users.
4. Develop a professional website or app
How many times have you seen an interesting product or service online, to be put off by a dodgy-looking, unprofessional website — probably too many times to count. By investing a little extra cash into creating a top-notch website or app, consumers are likely to view your start-up as professional and trustworthy. Including relevant information will also strengthen your start-up’s reliability, as consumers will have everything they need to know at their fingertips.
5. Solve a problem
If you launched your business to overcome a problem you faced, chances are, others will share the same problem, and therefore be drawn to your product — simple, really. Creating a business that answers a question can also enhance your USP. But be careful not to get too caught up making your start-up a jack of all trades, as it’s often best to focus on one area to thrive in.