According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about 30 percent of businesses fail in their first year. 50% fail in their first five. Yikes.
Why? Uncontrollable circumstances (lack of financial stability, economic turn down, etc.) aside, two reasons rise to the top: The business didn’t stand out from other similar businesses or the owner didn’t understand the needs of their market.
You, a strong business owner, hold the power in every area of your business in terms of how you build it. It’s up to you to make yourself stand out and set yourself up for success in every way you can. No pressure, right?
So how do you make yourself stand out? With a Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.
What is a USP?
Your USP (also called a Unique Selling Point) is what makes your business or product/service different. It’s the thing that makes what you have to sell preferable to the one sold down the street or across the pond. Your USP motivates the customer to align with what you’re selling more than the other guy, even when it’s technically the same product or service.
And it’s possibly the most important aspect of your business that you can determine. It can literally mean the difference between success and failure in your business.
Low cost leader? Luxury experience?
Think: A cupcake shop that sells a variety of flavors vs. a cupcake shop for dog owners, with dog beds under each table and mini dog-treat cupcakes.
Once you have a USP, the rest of your decisions fall into place. You’ll know who you need to target, what other kinds of products/services they would like and where to find them (free samples at the dog park, anyone?)
And what’s more, potential customers will be able to pick you out from among the sea of other options because they can plainly see what you’re about.
Every business has a USP.
This is something I teach in more depth in my online course, Public Relations to Market Your Business, where I talk more about the importance of the USP and how to make yourself stand out so you can get the media’s attention.
In the meantime, click here to read more how to find your USP, and enjoy more tips in the video below.