How to differentiate your services in your local market

Whether you’re a dentist, a dog walker or a decorator, there’s always a chance that a potential customer will ask what makes you different from your local competitors. To impress them and ensure they decide that you’re the right service provider for them, you need to be able to clearly differentiate your business.So, can you quickly and confidently sum up what makes your small business so unique?Defining your unique selling point (USP) is essential for building trust among your customers. Grab a pen, a sheet of paper and let’s get brainstorming to help you work out what differentiates your service.

1. Research your customers

Look at your list of current clients. Write down what you do for them, why they keep coming back to you and try and work out what problems you solve for them:

  • Is it your location?
  • Do you have a strong personal relationship with them?
  • Is it the hours you make yourself available?
  • Is it your price?

You should also ask clients directly why they like working with you.

2. Assess your local market and competition

To know what makes you unique, it’s essential to perform competitor analysis. Write down the names of all your local competitors, and try and put together a list of what you think their USPs are, what they do well, and what they do poorly.

3. Draw up a persona of your ideal customer

Create a persona of your ideal customer. You need to decide what their pain points are, and then decide how you are uniquely placed to solve those problems. Are they working moms? Are they busy lawyers? Are they stressed out office managers? Once you know exactly who they are, you can offer a service that suits their exact needs.

4. Define your USP

You now need to define exactly what makes you unique in your local market. List all the things that make you different, then boil this down to a couple of sentences that summarize your USP. Be as specific as possible, and include information that explains:

  • Who you work with
  • What you do
  • Why you do it
  • When you do it
  • Where you do it
  • And finally, how you do it

For example: My company, Happy Paws, believes dog walkers should fit around the lives of dog owners. That’s why we come to customers anywhere in Miami, any time of day, taking their dogs on happy walks for as long as their owners need.Once you can confidently tell customers what makes you unique, they’ll know exactly why they should spend money with you.

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