Be a Better Business or a Different Business – You decide

When starting a business or reviewing your existing business strategy, you have the choice of two overarching strategic options open to you:

  1. Be better than the competition OR
  2. Be different from the competition

Which option you choose is key. The future survival of your business depends upon it.

Most entrepreneurs or business owners choose option 1. They decide to go head-to-head with the competition on quality of service, product and / or price. They aim to be the best and nit-pick in marketing literature about how they outscore their rivals on specific points of service or product technicalities or awards won etc. This is hard work. This is the toughest of the two options.

Option 2 is the easier option plus in an increasingly noisy marketplace your chances of success are likely to be higher. By being different you don’t need to compare yourself with any other businesses. You are unique. You do not need to justify your pricing policies (as no-one else sells either what you sell or how you sell it) so the risk of your prices being driven down is vastly diminished. By being different, you will inevitably alienate certain sections of society, however, if you are clear about the narrow profile of your ideal customer, then you should be delighted by this! In turn, the chances of your customers referring your business to other (like-minded) potential customers rockets plus PR likes the unique and interesting – resulting in reduced marketing costs all round.

Given this, why do so many entrepreneurs and startups pick option 1?

I think it must be the way we are wired. We are fearful of standing out from the crowd and feel safer blending in – yet in a business context this is the riskiest option of all.

Where does your business strategy currently sit – in Option 1 or 2?

If Option 1, is now a good time to revisit it?

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