When you decide to start your own business, coming up with an idea is the most important and sometimes the most difficult thing you need to do. And even when you think you have finally come up with an original business idea, you do a quick online search just to find out there are hundreds of other companies doing exact same thing.
But what if we told you that you don’t need an original business idea to start a successful business?
Let us explain why not!
There’s no such a thing as an original business idea
Even if you started a business that offers holidays on the moon, your idea wouldn’t be original. You would be the first one doing it but not the first one who thought about it!
The same with any other idea. With almost eight billion people in the world, what are the chances that no one else thought about or even started the same business as you are thinking of starting?
If your biggest dream is to work for yourself but you’re waiting for that original idea to come to your mind, you’ll never make your dream come true! That’s why you need to change your attitude. Instead of thinking “someone is already doing it, I need to think of something different”, think of it as “great, someone else is doing it. They are successful – it means there is a demand for it!” Remember, it’s easier to provide solution to a problem that already exist!
You don’t need an original business idea. You need a strong USP
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to be successful. There are many businesses that offer very similar or even the same products or services but all have customers.
For example, think about businesses offering accounting services. They might be charging different prices or working different hours but they provide the same services.
Think about big brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Costa and Starbucks or McDonald’s and Burger King. They sell very similar products but are still successful.
When it comes to starting a business, there is no doubt that a good idea is important. However, it has to be GOOD and not necessarily ORIGINAL.
While the idea is the foundation of your business, the way you fulfil the idea is what actually makes your business successful. No matter how good or even original your idea is, there is way more to starting a business. You need to work on your sales techniques, marketing, customer service and make sure your product or service is high quality. And most importantly, you need to identify your unique selling point.
A unique selling point is a sentence that summarises what makes your business stand out from the competition and helps you attract customers.
Let’s learn how to identify your own unique selling point
Describe what you offer
Write down everything you offer. Describe your products or services in detail, including how they benefit your customers. Think about how you serve your customers – is it a physical store or office? Do you offer super fast delivery? What are your working hours? Describe your customer service. How can people reach you when they have a problem? Do you offer extended warranties or a money-back guarantee if someone isn’t fully satisfied with what they have received?
Research your competitors
Research what your competitors offer and how they stand out from similar businesses. Read their unique selling points both to get inspired and to find out what makes you different from them.
If you’ve done the first step, you already have the list of everything you offer. Compare it to your competitors’ USPs and highlight things you do that are unique. If your competitors are focusing on their customer service or delivery, you will want to focus on something else, for example, the outstanding quality of your products or services.
Identify your customers’ needs
Find out what your customers want, need and expect from you. To do so, you can conduct online surveys or focus groups and read the reviews to see what people are happy or disappointed about when they use your competitors’ products or services. You can also visit online forums to check what your target customers are talking about and what problems they are facing.
Once you know your customers’ needs and pain points, you will understand what are the most important things you should be focusing on to attract your customers.
Put it all together
Once you complete the first three steps, you will have a list of potential USPs.
Just to remind you, your USP should include:
- Something unique about your business
- Something that’s missing from your competitors’ USPs
- Something that’s important to your customers
After deciding which points you want to focus on, put it all together into one short and catchy sentence!
We often buy from different businesses in the same market
When you go shopping for clothes, do you buy every single item from one store?
And when you go to the shop to pick up a bottle of water, do you always get the exact same brand?
As you can see, we often buy from different businesses in the same market.
While all of us have our favourite or preferred brands, we also like having a choice. Imagine if there was only one type of washing up liquid and it was out of stock when you really needed it? Or you needed a haircut for your last minute plans but your hairdresser was fully booked and there were no other salons around?
There are many businesses that solve the same problems by providing the same product or service. So don’t let the fact that your business idea has already been used stop you from starting your dream business!
Do you have a business idea?
If you have a business idea but aren’t sure where to start or if you only need a little bit of advice, we’re always here for you! We don’t care about your experience in the business. We want to see your passion and help you with your journey!