One of my favourite USPs... 'Polo -the mint with the hole"
Part 1 Adding value for your customer
When you want to start a business, one of the most off-putting factors can be the sheer volume of competition. If your business is going to succeed then you have to come up with some pretty good reasons why customers should choose you and not one of your many competitors screaming “me too” at them!
What we need is a unique selling point or ‘proposition’ – something that offers our customers a better deal. “Eureka,” cries the budding entrepreneur. “We shall sell our products cheaper than our competitors.”
Well that is one option but not a particularly great one. Personally, I’d rather have my customers choosing me for being more expensive than getting engaged in a downward price spiral with my competitiors. So I need to create reasons for that to happen.
For example:- I run a fish and chip shop –loads of competition, and of course not just other fish and chip shops. Here’s few possible differentiators…
All our takeaway orders are individually wrapped in a heat retaining bag so your meal is still piping hot when you get home.
All our fish is guaranteed line caught only
Choice of cider, wine and malt vinegars at our counter.
Choice of batter or breadcrumb coating.
Telephone order and free delivery service for orders over £15
All of the above will add to my costs. The skill is in recognising which of these ideas are likely to add to profits – and that’s about understanding my customers. For example, make the breadcrumbs Matzo meal in an area with plenty of Jewish customers and I could be on a real winner.
A little bit of research might show why fish and chips shops don’t get a better share of the home delivery food market. Perhaps individually wrapped portions in heat retaining packaging might be the answer.
I know that my favourite fish and chip shop is packed every day at lunch time and evenings because they began to offer an “eat in” service – just a few tables to begin with, got a licence to sell wine and made sure their food was always top quality. And the takeaway trade has boomed also because most times you turn up, it’s too full to get a table!