Understanding your uniqueness can be key to gaining and maintaining a competitive edge in your market place. For some businesses, defining and understanding their uniqueness can be a difficult thing as many of them just go about their daily business thinking that they way they do business is just that: the way they do business. However, this might just be the key to their uniqueness.
This was highlighted to me today when I was having a conversation with a Managing Partner of a Professional Service firm. We were discussing various aspects of his business and the way they go about their business, having re-invented themselves over the last few years to focus more on their clients’ broader business needs rather than just providing them with a simple set of services. This does not mean that they have taken on new service lines but that they take a broader interest in what what their clients need and, as such, put themselves in a position to proactively network them with other clients and/or contacts that they believe may help or address some of the issues that they are facing. As a result, they have benefited from high customer retention, loyalty and lots of referrals. And whilst they do not consider this to be unique, I asked how this compared to their peers. The Managing Partner answered that most of their peers are very focused on only their service delivery and that their more holistic view could be the key to their uniqueness. This surprised him as it seemed to obvious. He wasn’t sure about this.
However, I do think they do have an unsung uniqueness and it is that they care, listen and take a proactive interest in their clients whole business and not just the areas that they are specialist in.
The moral of this story for me is not to take what you do and how you do it for granted. It might be that your way is unique and just needs to be recognised.
The best way to discover your uniqueness is to start to look at your business from the outside: the perspective of your customers. Do they stay with you for a long time? Do they refer you to other businesses without you asking them to? If they do both of these things then it is likely that you are doing something that is unique and will be inherent in the ‘way you do business’.
Look closely, do you have unrecognised uniqueness?
Thanks to saivann for the image.