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Five Ways Your Seemingly Boring Business Can Stand Out

It is easy to look at successful businesses around you and say, “I just can’t see how that would work for my business”, and go back to your business-as-usual mindset…

Perhaps you’re one of millions of life coaches trying to find your niche or maybe you’re a web designer trucking along pitching for projects. With that mindset you’re unlikely to build a game-changing business but that doesn’t mean your business can’t be a game-changer.

Here I’d like to explore five different ways you can stand out as a game-changed even if your business – at first glimpse – appears anything but…

1. Do Business Differently

Let’s take Buffer – the company behind the popular social media sharing tool, Buffer App. On the face of it, while the app is well designed, well built, well executed and well supported, it is after all ‘just’ a social media sharing tool…perhaps game-changing when it first launched but not the only one of its kind these days.

What has kept the company a game changer in the start-up field however is the way it does business – it’s the way the company executes the vision and builds the business upon its 10 core values that has made it a game changer among its peers.

Questions For You:

  • What are the accepted ways of doing business in your industry that aren’t, in your opinion, as good as they can be?
  • What could you do that could change the landscape for you and your competitors – along the lines of the saying, ‘A rising tide that lifts all boats’?

2. Challenge The Incumbents

Richard Branson has built his empire on this premise…to challenge the status quo and give people a choice in industries where either previously few/none existed, or what did exist wasn’t good enough.

In each field, he has changed the game for the industry and for consumers by giving greater choice and sharing the ‘Virgin’ way – airlines, trains, banking, media…the common thread throughout is that he believed he could do it better than it was already being done.

Questions For You:

  • How can you offer a choice that isn’t currently available to your customers/clients from anywhere or anyone else?
  • How can you do things better than the way they’re currently done?

3. Do It Differently

I consulted for and mentored a client who is building a chain of eco lodges. This in itself is not a unique product, except there’s a mission behind the project that means the venture also provides a global platform to people who haven’t previously had a voice on that level.

They’re doing something fairly conventional but using it in an unconventional way to change the game for the local community on a level that hasn’t been done before.

Questions For You:

  • What could you do differently that – while it may appear unconventional, expensive, or even impossible at first – would be a game changer for those involved?
  • How could you expand/deepen/broaden what you do to add an extra level to your business and its mission?
  • Instead of aiming for a win-win, how could you make it a win-win-win?

4. Do What Can’t Be Done

Visionaries like Elon Musk look at game-changing problems with the belief and insistence that they can be solved. I’m working with a client who also believes that their work has the potential to change the health industry if it’s successful.

These are lofty goals and this is perhaps the hardest way to become a game changer; it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though. Just because something hasn’t been done before and people say it can’t be done, does not mean we should give up…especially if it could be a game changer.

Questions For You:

  • What unsolvable problem do you believe needs to be solved?
  • If you can’t solve it, do you know anyone who does or who can? (If you do, give them all the support you can – they’ll need it and they deserve it!)

5. Do It For Someone Different

All credit to the person who brought yoga into the mainstream. Previously the domain of yogis and natives of India, yoga is now ingrained into the western world and health culture. Whoever saw that yoga would be a great antidote to the harder-faster-stronger fitness mentality of the West clearly saw a gap in the market and has filled it with aplomb.

Taking what you offer to an entirely different, uncommon audience can be a powerful way to expand your business in a game-changing way for all.

Questions For You:

  • Is there a group of people you’d love to work with but you’ve never done it because no-one else has before?
  • When you think about the benefits of what your business does, who else would benefit from them?

Ensuring your business stands out doesn’t happen overnight nor does it happen by chance…becoming a game changer is a side effect of doing something worth doing that nobody else can be bothered to do.

How’s your plan looking? Are you planning to stand out or does your plan have you building a business that struggles to distinguish itself in a sea of same-ness?