When you’re first starting your business, it may seem like there are lots of people out there already doing what you want to do, and that can feel very daunting – especially in a saturated market. Many of these other businesses will already be established and it’s easy to compare yourself to those that are already successful in your trade, and maybe even feel disheartened. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set up your business anyway. It just means that you’ll need to work hard to stand out, as does every business. Your business plan should explain how you are different from your competitors, and the act of writing the business plan itself can help you to figure out your place within the market.
Just because there is someone out there doing the same thing as you, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, too. You should feel confident about doing your own thing, in your own way, and knowing that you do it extremely well. If you know what sets you apart and you believe in your brand, this should help to give you the confidence to enter a crowded market.
You can look at any number of large corporations as examples of this – from Coke vs. Pepsi, to Tesco vs. Sainsbury’s, to McDonald’s vs. Burger King. The first McDonald’s restaurant opened on 15th April 1955, but the first Burger King opened four months earlier on 4th December 1954. Did they worry about stepping on each other’s toes? No, because although they are competitors, they each offer something different. Burger King meals are typically larger, and as its famous “Have it your way” motto suggests, the customer can customise their burger with extra toppings, or by asking for some to be removed. Meanwhile, the McDonalds breakfast is an institution for some, and the Big Mac is iconic.
Embrace Your Individuality
The question is, what is your Big Mac? There must be something that sets you apart from everyone else, and you’ll want to draw people’s attention to that. Think about what your unique selling points are – do you offer free delivery while others don’t, is your customer service out of this world? If you really don’t think you have anything that differentiates you, you may need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something. Whatever sets you apart, embrace that as an integral part of your business’s identity, and go out and shout about it. Be bold! Of course, one of the most important places to shout about it is in your business plan, especially if you’re looking to attract lenders or investors.
Combine Tried and Tested With New and Different
Remember that it is difficult to come up with a completely new business idea, and entrepreneurs are likely to have more luck with gaining funding if they are using a tried and tested business model. This should make you feel a little more confident about your chances of getting funding, and if you are building on an already successful business model and using it in a way that gives you an advantage, you should explain this in your business plan.
If you would like some help with writing a business plan that shows how you stand out from the crowd and explains all the great USPs you have to offer, get in touch with cbm. Call 01604 420 420 or use the contact form on the right.