HOW TO GET YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH TOUGH TIMES
Why should you define your x-factor so your business stands out from the crowd?
Having a high level of competition in your chosen niche or industry is a strong sign there’s a demand for your service or product. Not having any competitors is a good indication you’re not in the right niche and your business may not last.
Why do lucrative niches have lots of competition? Because businesses go to where the cash is flowing. You want to position your business in these lucrative niches. But with lots of competition, you need to define your x-factor and stand out from the crowd.
How do you Stand Out from the Crowd?
Yes, building a strong online presence is essential for your business success but it’s not all about digital marketing and social media. No matter how many posts you do for social media or how many blogs you write for your website, if you don’t have an established X-factor for your business, you will not stand out.
Standing out from your competition is no easy feat. You need to know your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. You need to know your customer’s wants, needs, fears and desires.
To stand out from the crowd, you merely follow a simple 3 step process.
Step 1 – Define Your X-factor – What is your customer’s ideal shopping experience?
To begin this process, we need to answer the following question:
Who are my real clients?
Not everybody is your client.
This is one of the most common mistakes in business. Businesses trying to sell to people who are not their customers.
Trying to sell meat to a vegetarian is a waste of time. It does not matter how fancy your sales pitch, how excellent your product or how much time, energy or expense you put into selling it, if the person you are trying to sell to is not your real client, you are wasting your time. They will never buy.
Here’s a great quote I once read;
“Find a starving crowd and you will sell more hotdogs than any of your competitors, hands down!”
Once you identify your real customers, that is, the ones who are buying your products or services easily, you can then find out from them what their ideal shopping experience is.
And I hear you asking, “How do I do that?”.
Simple. Just Ask. You can do this by surveying previous clients by emailing your database or asking through online forums and groups
Step 2 – Define Your X-factor – What three things make your customers angry or frustrated?
Another way to ask and answer this question is:
“What are your competitors’ weaknesses?”
Because right now, customers are shopping at your competitors. If they are getting angry or frustrated somewhere in the process, it means your competitors are doing something wrong. Does this make sense?
These weak spots are causing your customers PAIN. We need to know exactly what these pain points are.
We also need to know what your competitors’ strengths are. Why? Because you never attack your competitors’ strengths. You rather focus on their weaknesses. The weaknesses are where the gaps lie.
Step 3 – Define Your X-factor – Plug the gaps & become “The Business” customers want to buy from.
From the above process, we have established:
a. What is your ideal customer’s experience? and b. What are your competitors doing wrong?
Now, simply plug the gaps. You fix what the competition is doing wrong. You take away your customers’ pain. In doing so, you create your X-Factor. You become the pain killer for your customers’ pain.”
Success Tip: Offer a solution that your customers really want, not what you think they want.
To illustrate this I thought I would share a personal story with you to show you how anyone can create an X-factor and make a significant impact in their business. You don’t need to be gifted or have above average intelligence or any other extraordinary talents you think you may need.
How I Created my X-Factor and Stood Out as a Newspaper Delivery Boy (Aged 14)
As far back as I can remember, I was always interested in ways to make money and loved the business process of creation and reward.
One of these ways, when I was growing up, was delivering newspapers. It was a great way for young kids to make some cash. When I turned 14, my parents finally allowed me to do this, since you had to do weekend deliveries, starting at 3:30 am and this was an obvious concern for them.
In the photo above, you can see me on my delivery bike. It was my BMX. On the front was my newspaper delivery basket, handmade, welded and fitted by my grandfather, and completed with a cardboard box.
Because of the popularity of delivering newspapers and all the neighbourhood kids wanting to give it a go, there was a huge waiting list to get a paper route. Luckily a friend of mine, who had been delivering papers for a while, managed to get me a “substitute” job.
Unlike all the other delivery kids, this was not a permanent “job.” They were allocated a permanent route. My job was a fill-in when one of the “permanents” was sick or did not pitch up for their shift.
As it turned out, this was more often than not. On an average day, I was doing 2-3 routes because of these kids not turning up for whatever reason. And so, I was making 2-3 times more cash than the “permanents.”
Unbeknown to me at the time, I had landed up in the sweet spot in a red-hot niche. The paper delivery routes were a red-hot niche for young kids wanting to make cash, and the competition was very high.
My “substitute” role was a lucrative, sweet spot in this red-hot niche.
Now, once some of the others saw me making more money than them on their permanent routes, they wanted “substitute” roles. This was obviously a problem (or threat) I could see coming for me.
However, again unbeknown to me at the time, I had already begun my X-factor creation process to make me stand out in the crowd.
Here’s how the customers wanted their newspaper delivered (the customers’ ideal delivery experience):
It was cold in the early mornings and evenings, especially in Winter, and they did not want to venture to the front lawn, or garden gate and pick up their newspapers.
They wanted a dry, uncrumpled newspaper they could enjoy reading, and they wanted it delivered on time.
What were the “permanent” delivery kids doing wrong (“my competition” to make the customers angry and frustrated?)
They would throw the newspapers from their bikes as they rode past the delivery address. The newspapers would land on the customer’s lawn, driveway, on the pavement, in the rose bushes, or sometimes in nowhere land, never to be found.
They would not place the newspapers in waterproof plastic bags to protect the papers from the rain. They were just too lazy.
The delivery boys would not fold the newspapers correctly when preparing them for the delivery route. They would ram them in the delivery bag as they would always be in a rush to get going. This resulted in crumpled up and torn newspapers.
Plugging the Gaps and Creating My X-factor
When I first began my delivery routes, I wanted to make a good impression. At every house listed on my delivery sheet, I would stop my bike, get off and hand deliver the newspaper to the person’s front door. I would often knock, slip the paper under their door and then leave, so they knew their paper had arrived.
I folded all my newspapers correctly when packing them and placed each one in the rainproof bags.
And I was always on time. If I had 3 routes to do, I would make sure I made the time frames and left earlier than normal on the first ones.
Customers would phone the office, ask who the new delivery boy was and rave about the service.
This secured my spot as the No. 1 “substitute” delivery boy, blocking out my competition.
All I did was execute with sincerity and a genuine care factor.
I genuinely cared about my customer’s experience and made sure I created a solution around what drove them mad. The rest automatically unfolded.
I have carried these foundational philosophies into every one of my businesses, and I still do today. And every time, they have paid fruitful dividends.
Try these steps as I did. You don’t need extra-terrestrial talents or have to be a freak genius. Simply care about your customer’s experience. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.
Find Out How a Small Business Coach Can Help You Define Your X-Factor & Stand Out From The Crowd
Trying to survive in business can be exhausting, especially if you are always trying to solve the problems yourself. Are you frustrated, confused, and not sure what to do next? This is not how the picture of your business should look.
I understand this completely. I have been doing this for most of my adult life, and many times I have had to deal with struggles and pain alone.
Being a small business owner doesn’t have to be a lonely ride.
- Do you want help systemising your entire business operation, so you do not have to worry each day?
- Need a practical exit strategy to turn your business into a valuable asset to set you up for life?
- Want a proven marketing plan that has helped many other “offline” businesses just like yours to successfully integrate and grow their brand online?
- Do you want to remove yourself from the daily grind and get your life back?
- Do you want to optimise your business, improve efficiency, ramp up sales, maximise profits, reduce overheads and improve cash flow?
- Need help managing and motivating your team to operate at optimum performance?
If so, we should have a chat.
In the meantime, have a look at some real results from our previous clients. Many of them are small business owners who were struggling with similar issues you may be experiencing right now.
I hope that you find this useful. If you would like a no-obligation, pitch-free business discovery session to see if we can help you get to where you want to go, then please book a time here.
I certainly would enjoy helping you on your business journey, whatever stage you are at, to reach your lifestyle of choice.
Thanks for sharing your time with me. I look forward to discussing how we can get your business working for you.
As always, I wish you all the very best.