Starting a business has never been as easy as it is today. In countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes with very minor amounts of paperwork to deal with.
Even with the legal aspects removed from the equation, trading your wares or offering your services is much easier today than it was twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. Most of this is down to technology making it easier to reach customers that are on your doorstep as well as those on the complete other side of the world.
All you have to do is throw together a website through platforms like WordPress, list your product or service for sale, and run ads that target your specific demographic. Provided you execute this correctly, you could have sales rolling in within a matter of days.
But what’s easy for you, is also easy for everyone else. That makes doing business in the 21st century a double-edged sword. Lower barriers to entry mean you can reach more customers more easily, but they also let others do the same.
This can mean you’re fighting to stand out in a very crowded market, surrounded by competitors that are offering similar (or even identical) products to you. In which case, you might be wondering what you can do to help set yourself apart from the others.
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Give Your Customers More Choice
In the early days of the car, Henry Ford joked that you could have his Model T in any colour you liked, provided it was black. This lack of choice came from the fact that it helped to make Ford’s production lines more efficient, thus bringing down costs.
But in the 21st century, consumers have got used to getting everything their own way. They also like to feel like they’re special and that they can buy products and services that are tailored to their own tastes.
That’s why car manufacturers offer their vehicles in an entire spectrum of colours, many combinations of features and different sizes, catering to people of all budgets and tastes.
The iGaming industry has done something similar too. Rather than just offering a couple of different card games through its online casinos, players typically have a choice of dozens. This usually includes the most popular choices like blackjack and baccarat, but also novel versions of these games that contain extra side bets or unique rules. On top of that, they’ve even developed their own variants like three-card brag that involves competing against the dealer rather than other players. By offering so much choice, these companies can appeal to more customers at once and create a more varied gaming experience.
Offer Something New
If there are several businesses each offering the same products, then it can really help to create something new. It doesn’t have to be radically different, but just enough to make people stop and look at you.
It might be a different colour, a different design, an extra feature, or even fewer features.
Samsung recently did this with its range of folding smartphones. The market has become incredibly crowded in recent years, with most companies producing thin slabs with a large touch screen on one side, a couple of buttons on the edge, and a bank of cameras on the back.
But by creating a phone that folds, even if that doesn’t necessarily provide any major benefit, it managed to grab a lot of headlines.
Be More Convenient
Modern lives are hectic and stressful. Most people don’t have enough hours in the day and, therefore, are constantly on the lookout for ways to save time. If you can offer more convenience to your customers, then you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Amazon has done a great job at this. Its app is easy to navigate, it offers just about every product you could ever want to buy, and it can deliver it to your door within a day. Sure, you can go to a physical store and pick up that same product today, but there aren’t many occasions when people are in that much of a rush.