What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see a red bullseye? If you’re like most people, your answer is Target.  What is it about Starbucks that makes it different from other coffee establishments?  Perhaps it’s the taste of the coffee itself, the blended language of their drink sizes, or maybe even the first place to bring the culture of Italian espresso bars to the U.S.  These are exceptional examples of a million dollar idea, but they are also standards that we can look up to.  Sometimes it seems as if everything has been done before.  Even so, your business can be a unique endeavor if you can apply and incorporate your own individuality.

  • Focus on your personal strengths.  Even if your business is very similar to others, there is only one you.  Do some serious personal reflection to pinpoint what makes you different.  What can you bring to the table that no one else can?  For instance, you may be one of many direct sellers in your area working for the same type of company.  However, use your strengths to make yourself stand out from the rest.  A consultant with a background in theatre might do very well using his/her knowledge and expertise to create an entertaining and polished sales presentation unlike any that customers have seen before.  Your business is a reflection of who you are, so take advantage of that, and give it your personal flair.
  • Choose a micro-niche.  Instead of casting a wide net and trying to cater to a large market, narrow down your business and your target market.  The more narrow and specific you make it, the more recognized in your field you will become.  For example, a hair salon might focus on children’s hairdressing.  A micro-niche would be a salon that specializes in children’s hairstyles for the pageant circuit.  Now, a very specific target market can be reached, and the business can become a well-known one among those in that circle.
  • Make customer service a top priority.  Considering experiences you have had with other small businesses, what were their strong points?  Where were they lacking?  Use this knowledge to perfect your own customer relations.  Is there something you can offer that goes above and beyond what your competitors are doing?  Think about learning your customers’ names, something personal about them, and what they could get of your business that would somehow make their lives easier or more pleasant.  Modern technology has stolen much of our culture’s person-to-person interaction, so the better your customer service is, the more memorable you will be.
  • Use unusual interests to your advantage.  Whether you are starting a brand new business or looking to make an existing one more innovative, take a close look at your own interests.  Is there something unique or unusual about them?  For example, a forward-thinking individual named Jason Sadler developed an idea for wearing t-shirts to advertise companies wanting viral exposure.  His website has become its own community of people viewing and sharing his team’s content.

The key to building a unique business is identifying your own personal distinction.  What other ways do you bring originality to your business?  Share with us in the comments section below!