So you have an idea for a truly unique business model. You might feel a bit nervous putting it online. After all, someone might steal your idea or people might not respond to it the way you’d like. There is something to be said for being the first to start something, so don’t be afraid to put your baby out there and start gaining a following today.
According to the Small Business Administration, there are around 32.5 million small businesses in the United States with around one million new ones opening every year. Some follow the same old pattern as all the other businesses out there, so if yours is unique in some way, you stand a good chance of attracting attention.
Just how do you grow your business on the world wide web? It isn’t as hard as you think. Here are five industries and how you can stand out in each with your unusual business model.
You might think flooring companies are a dime a dozen, but if you have something unique to offer, you can make a lot of headway in this industry.
While it’s true people can buy flooring at local hardware stores and even Sam’s Club, the choices are not as high quality as you might think. When you offer something unique, such as products made in the U.S.A. or with a quality guarantee, you will attract attention.
You can also specialize in things such as unique colors or treatments. So, how can you stand out in this crowded space? In addition to knowing what your unique value proposition (UVP) is, you can create a presence on social media. Flooring brands have been slower to embrace social platforms than some other industries.
Start engaging customers to make an impact and spread the word about your business. Focus on what makes you different, such as a large format or being environmentally friendly. Take time to build a relationship with your customers for increased sales and word-of-mouth marketing.
Maybe your business is something quite common such as offering cosmetology services. Standing out among thousands and thousands of other beauticians isn’t an easy task.
Your first step must be to offer a unique service not many offer. For example, you could specialize in curly hair, offer waxing or work exclusively on hair extensions.
While it might be true that people cutting hair is common, not as many specialize in unique features of beauty. Look for the gap in your community and then advertise on social media. Ask your current customers to refer others to you.
Another idea is to offer beauty advice online in your area of specialization and charge a coaching fee rather than for the service. Train other stylists in a particularly difficult skill.
You know that job every parent absolutely dreads? You get the call or note home that your child was exposed to head lice and your first instinct is to panic. For those who make gross bugs their business, offering head lice removal services is a no brainer way to make money.
How do you use the internet to reach new customers for a niche business, though? Start with mailing lists of local school parents. Send them a note at the beginning of the school year to let them know about your availability.
Set up a page on social media sites and advertise during the busy seasons starting in the fall and continuing through to spring. According to Statista, there are approximately 2.89 billion monthly active users on Facebook. The site is an excellent place to reach just the right audience.
Narrow your audience parameters through analytics so your message reaches parents with children in a certain age range. You should also reach out to parents with children in daycare.
If your head itches just thinking about it, this may not be your ideal business to run, but you can easily see that even a very niche and unique business model can still benefit from an online presence.
You might think coaches are a dime a dozen, but each person has something unique to offer through their coaching services. The key to promoting a business based on personal experience is to know what your UVP is.
You also should collect customer testimonials to show you not only understand the topic but are able to share that knowledge in a usable way. Show off your success stories on your website. Create videos of short coaching snippets and post them on social media so potential customers get a feel for how you operate.
There are thousands upon thousands of e-commerce stores online. If you want yours to be a success you must find a unique approach. For example, an olive oil store offering infused oils with unique elements that taste as delicious on popcorn as chicken.
Even if you carry items every other store carries, try to have at least a few no one else does and run specials on them to drive people to your store.
You can also personalize items to give them that special edge no one else offers. Look at your closest competition and ask how you can be different and better.
Advice proliferates the internet on how to grow your business successfully. Once you figure out what makes you unique, you should try different methods until you find the combination working best for you.
Don’t be afraid to run separate tests on products to see which ones your customers respond to and which ones they don’t care too much about. Over time, your promotions and reach should grow.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.
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