April 2016 Newsletter – Differentiate or Die

Differentiate or Die

The handwriting on the wall is clear – if your business does not differentiate itself from its competition you will lose market share and may eventually become extinct!

Virtually every company is increasingly feeling the onslaught from new and existing competitors.

If you are a new business the question you wrestle with is – how can I make my company stand out from ones existing in your marketplace? Alternatively, if have been operating for a while, the challenge is how to keep and grow market share given the attacks from all of your new challengers?

How to Differentiate

The common well-worn ways try to stand out from your rivals are with your price, quality or uniqueness.Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia Obviously using any of these tactics dramatically affects your bottom line and may or may not enable you stand out from the crowd since everyone else may be doing the same thing.

There are many ways to try to separate your firm from the rest of pack. One of less well known ways is with Your Delivery Time or Convenience. That is, do you deliver or provide your product more quickly than your competition? Or are you more convenient to your customer than your competition?

Recently I read that millennials are increasingly becoming fans of wine. This has spawned new businesses. I discovered that two new entities are using Delivery Time or Convenience as their differentiator. The first one caters to the pop-up party market by delivering wine to a business or home within a half-hour of a phone call or an internet order. This organization is using Delivery Time for its uniqueness.

A second company will send you a selection of wine at the intervals you request and you rate the wines as you consume them. This information is transmitted to the company and based upon their expert system they send you wines from across the world that are similar to the ones you prefer. This firm is using Convenience as its distinguisher because you don’t have go to a store to do the research on all the varieties of wine that you might like.

Your Delivery Time or Convenience

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaThis differentiator involves whether or not you deliver or provide your product/service sooner than your competition or dealing with you is more convenient to your customer than dealing with your competition.

The first step to take is to establish whether you have an advantage or a disadvantage with regard to the time it takes from the point an order is placed with your business to the point at which you can reliably deliver your product to your customer.

Secondly, you want to evaluate whether you have an advantage or a disadvantage when it comes to how convenient it is for your customer to transact business with you compared to doing business with your competition.

The issue of convenience shows up in two ways. Number one, if your customer comes to your physical location, how convenient is your location to physically get to or if you go to their location, how convenient is it to get to your customer from your location?

Number two, if your business provides its product from a remote location and your customer only interacts with your business via a web site or a telephone number (and therefore they do not have to go to your physical location), how user friendly is your web site or telephone operation?

Keep in mind that if you operate from a remote location, your product’s “quality” does not include the quality of your customer’s shopping experience. The quality of their shopping experience falls into your Delivery Time or Convenience area because it involves how convenient and pleasurable was your customer’s shopping experience?

Delivering or providing your product/service more quickly than your competition or being more convenient are advantageous attributes for every business. But the three industries that are especially driven by delivery time or convenience, making them a key element of their success, are fast food restaurants, dry cleaners, and gas stations.

Utilizing Your Delivery Time or Convenience Strategically

How do you use this knowledge strategically? First, to garner a competitive advantage in this area take a Small Business Planning in Atlantastep back and consider and brainstorm all of the possible steps you could take to deliver or provide your product sooner than your competition? Think outside the box. Look at new technologies. Or re-design your systems to eliminate bottlenecks. Don’t just accept the status-quo as the way it must be. Your rivals are not standing still.

Second, look at things completely from your customer’s point of view. Are you more convenient to your customer than your competition? Next, evaluate all the possible options you can come up with for making you more convenient to deal with. Contemplate using a new business model like Allstate did with Esurance.

If you need assistance with analyzing and improving your Delivery Time or Convenience please contact us because we can show you how to think outside the box in this area so that you can improve your sales, grow your profit and out-smart your competition.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve the goals for their business by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic business planning and growth methodology, the Structure of Success™ so they can Work Less, Make More and most importantly Have Fun in Their Business. Using our Structure of Success™ methodology each month we examine one of 12 areas of a business or organization.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220



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