Has anyone ever told you that you need to “stand out” to make it in business? I’ve heard it more times than I can count. In today’s technology age, this is more important than ever. It’s much easier to start a small business than ever before. To the point that it’s created more competition across many industries.
According to Key Small Business Statistics 2016, our Canadian economy was made up almost entirely of small businesses; 97.9% to be specific.
Facts are facts – the online business market continues to grow, especially with the continued use of social media. However, you can still be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. Standing out from the rest will stamp your place in the industry and ensure customers seek you out.
Stand Out Step 1 – Define It
Determine what the meaning of “standing out” is for your vertical. Is it delivering extraordinary service? There are many small businesses out there who would say that their service is what sets them apart. Being able to define what it is that could be considered “unique” in your industry will help you determine how best to stand out.
For instance, if you’re a woman’s beauty product, it was at one point almost completely unheard of to feature plus size female models. Dove wanted to stand out, and that was the vessel they chose to disrupt their industry.
I bet you even know the campaign I’m talking about, though in case you don’t, you can find it here.
Stand Out Step 2 – Style It
Now that you’ve defined what standing out means to you, develop a style. This is more than just your logo or colors, this is holistic. This is about your personal style, the message you embody as much as the image you portray.
In fact, for some, the visual presentation is a very small part. You need to find what’s going to feel right for you, your brand, your vertical, and above all else, your audience.
If a vibrant personal image will shock your industry into reaction you may choose to dye your hair something exotic like my silvers and purples or Kimra Luna’s favorite blue.
Is your industry stale and repetitive, perhaps it needs a new narrative? Leading with a game-changing THOUGHT could be the way to go. I think of Marlo Ellis who is driving the Uncommon Woman movement. While the visuals may not stand out, the message surely does and she’s picking up speed like crazy.
You can also go full tilt and create a culture like Apple did. I mean, that’s one heck of an ideal example right there. People were moved not only by the dream and the drive but also the sleek design and sharp image.
It doesn’t matter what you choose, if it suits the purpose. Take the time to truly research the style that will be your most effective.
Stand Out Step 3 – Plan It
At this stage, it’s really easy to just gather up your bold ideas and charge forth however I’ll caution you to reign it in. Many business owners and entrepreneurs are afflicted with squirrel syndrome so idea generation is the easy part and planning is the step skipped.
What I recommend instead is to plan out your transition like you would any other shift in business. The more natural the transition, the less likely you are to rock the boat or upset and existing fanbase. If you’re already in business, you need to write out everything that will need to be changed and a timeline to do it. If you’re just starting out, you’re planning ground up to come out strong with this new persona.
Either way, planning and preparing enables you the extra time you need to truly process and exhibit the transition. I mean, when was the last time you just POOF changed overnight? The planning phase helps your brain puppy transition with less resistance and overwhelm.
Stand Out Step 4 – Own It
With research, style and a plan you’ve only got one step left. You gotta own that shit. All in or nothing at all, do you hear me? You need give it 100% and TIME to take effect. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was the evil of Donald Trump, and therefore neither will you be.
If you’ve read my work before, I’m going to broken record a bit here, however you’ve got to celebrate every success, no matter how small, and avoid kicking the puppy while you work through training that brain. Be kind to yourself while also being firm. We all slip up, you’ll hit roadblock and bumps just like any other, and you’ll need to fight to stay on course. That’s all part of owning it. Getting on course and staying on course with all your might.
Does this guarantee me success?
Sorry darling, nothing guarantees success. It’s 3-parts hard work and 1-part crap-shoot and you can’t bet on that. What I can guarantee you is that, if you never give up you will never fail, and if you never fail, aren’t you eventually going to find success? That’s the real key here – tenacity. The ability to define, style, plan and own your own IT because no one else is going to do it for you.
Shine your light, share your message, and carry your head high. If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it, my 4 steps or not.
Thanks for reading – talk soon!