Unique Selling Proposition: USP for Success

    May 19, 2006

Business management is a topic that receives books and lecture circuits worth of discussion.

Perhaps you have heard or read the latest fads in management, and possibly even put some of them into practice. The results were probably mixed at best.

We’ve all heard the experts, or even the self-annointed ones, tell us there is a certain way to run a business. Their points usually run in the direction of what worked for them should work for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple in real life.

Often, the expert was indeed highly successful with the recommended management system. Occasionally, they fudge the facts a bit to sell the program to the unwary. Sometimes, the only real money their businesses ever made was from the sale of their get rich quick schemes. Let’s not go there.

Keep in mind that many management consulting firms have made an entire industry out of selling the same business plan to every client. You have to admire their ingenuity, and their sales and marketing ability for that one.

All businesses are similar in that they require good management, marketing, public relations, financing, cash flow, good accounting and record keeping, and so on. Businesses differ in the amount of expertise and capital available.

For example, it’s all well and good for someone whose business has been in the family for several generations to give advice. It’s quite another for your startup business to really benefit from it, except in a very general way.

You have to make your business your own. Your company should reflect you and your values, as well as those of your staff, and your customers. In other words, find what works for you, and stick with it. While you are sticking with what works, you should be searching for new and creative ways to solve the short and long term problems facing your business.

No set in stone plan is going to do that for you.

Your business is as individual as you are. That unique nature of your company is its greatest strength. Your unique selling proposition (often called a USP) should reflect what makes your organization one of a kind. Offer a USP that only you and your business can provide.

It might be the personal service, your written money back guarantee, or your offering of free information and services. Whatever your business advantage may be, it must be unique to your business alone. You have to let the potential customer know in an instant why your company is the only one that can meet her requirements.

As an exercise and take away, write down all of the things that make your business one of a kind. List everything that comes to mind. Don’t edit it now. Just write the list and set it aside for a day or two. Leave that for another day when you can approach your ideas objectively. Take the best ideas and reduce them to one sentence that describes your business. You should be able to present your USP in less than thirty seconds. Anywhere. Anytime.

Once you discover how your business is unique, no one size fits no one solutions are required. You will have your one of a kind USP in hand; ready to take on the world. Write it on your business card. Place it on your blog or website. Let your USP sell your one of a kind business to the world.

Think differently from the pack, and you will lead it.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.