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How can a small business develop a unique selling proposition?


Entrepreneurs starting small businesses need a unique selling proposition for their startup.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition? A Unique Selling Proposition, often abbreviated as USP, is what makes a business’s products and services different from the competition. It’s what your business offers that other businesses don’t, and it’s the differentiating factor for your business, and the experience of shopping with the company, aside from the competition.

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Developing a unique selling proposition is a rather simplified process. Follow the steps below to start developing and presenting your startup’s unique selling proposition.

1. Go the mile in the customer’s shoes

Take a moment to review your business plan. You should be able to find comprehensive market analysis there. This covers your target audience and customer base. It may also detail the strategies you plan to attract, capture and retain these audiences.

Now, consider your USP from the customer’s perspective. Why do they need something from you? Which USP can your business choose to best meet these needs? An example of USP might be your price point. You can price your product for $5 or $10 a month less than your competitors. Therefore, customers may be more likely to buy your product or service because it fits their budget better.

Whenever possible, go a mile in the customer’s shoes. Review your customer demographics and consider their behaviors, feelings, and habits as you develop your USP.

2. Focus on your strengths

What if you can’t offer a lower price as your USP? do not worry. This is just one example of a unique selling proposition. Many small businesses end up growing their USP by focusing on their strengths and going the extra mile to be the best thing they can do.

Let’s say the strength of your business is its friendly customer service. Everyone is genuine and kind and works hard to surpass the customer experience. If this is your strength, you’ll focus on building customer loyalty and increasing positive word of mouth for your business.

Entrepreneurial founder making a business plan

3. Find a solution to the problem

Part of starting a business means Discover your “why” for conducting business. Some entrepreneurs start their business because their company aims to solve a common problem for their target audience. Or, the business started out by offering a unique product that no one else had, and thus established a niche in the market. (Spanx, a shapewear company, is a great example of not only solving problems for customers, but creating its own niche!)

Take a moment to ask yourself how your business can help solve problems and meet needs. Once you have this answer, you can strategize as a USP that will allow you to offer this solution to your customers better, faster and/or at a lower price than what your competitors are currently offering in the market.

The more you know about your customers and their needs, the problems they have and how to help solve them, and the advantages only your business can provide, the better you will be able to identify and develop a solid business USP. Over time, this unique selling proposition will allow you to build customer loyalty, establish a clear brand identity, and increase sales for your business.



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