By Matthew Pollard, the Rapid Growth Guy

How does a business stand out in an oversaturated market? Well, it starts with your thoughts and actions: if you don’t think outside the confines of what’s been tried, you’ll never be able to stand apart from all those others who are slaves to convention. When you’re struggling to get noticed in a crowded market, you may try certain strategies to get attention: discounting prices is a common choice. However, you can’t survive this way for long–eventually another, probably bigger, company will come along and blow your price point out of the water: what will you have to offer then? The key is thinking outside the box in order to determine a strategy that sets you apart from the pack.

In my work as a coach and consultant, I’ve helped countless entrepreneurs determine how to highlight what is unique about their business. In one popular program of mine, which I call the “Get More Customers Program,” I help business owners go through three actionable steps that will help them determine how to set their business apart and grow their customer base; these allow them to think outside the box and achieve rapid growth:

1) Determine a unique and unified message.

Chances are, the product or service you offer will be offered by someone else–at least, on the surface. Yet, people will often happily pay more for a product or service that they perceive as unique. So, you must determine what about your business is unique, and how customers who come to you are going to get a product or experience that they can’t get anywhere else. If you’re having trouble determining this, really break it down: consider your personal history, your expertise and education, and the unique benefits a customer will receive when they choose you. If you’re struggling with this, don’t be afraid to ask your best customers, the ones that you get the best results for, why they buy from you. Use what you find to craft your individualized and unified message about what your business provides its customers.

2) Discover your niche and market straight to it.

When businesses try to market to everyone, their message gets lost among all the others. In fact, most businesses engage in one of two types of marketing:
a) binge marketing, which is a reflex action that occurs in response to the loss of a client, or toward the end of a long engagement when the business has nothing else lined up, and
b) scatter-gun marketing, in which the business engages in a variety of marketing–advertising, search engine optimization, networking, pay per click, etc.–but without a strategy, or any structure/ focus.

Now that you’ve been able to determine what makes your product or service truly unique, think about those customer groups for whom it is perfect. What are the characteristics of the people you help the most and where are they located? Once you have answered these two questions, you must determine how best to market to them. For example, you probably wouldn’t run ads on a social media site if your product or service targets customers who are over 60 years of age, etc.

3) Systemize your sales.

Your new message is a strong way to represent your business, but sadly it means little if you can’t translate it into money in the bank. Few people spend time determining how to convert customer interest into sales, however, it’s imperative to do so. Think of it this way: you’ve likely spent years perfecting your craft, designing your product, etc.–does it make sense to spend no time figuring out how to sell it? Begin considering how best to discuss your product or service with prospective clients. Break your conversations into steps that aid engagement, learn to ask questions, and tailor your responses to individualized needs.

With so much competition out there, it makes sense to set your business apart from all the rest. Thinking outside the box and embracing what makes you different can be the key to the level of success you’ve dreamed about.