Differentiate yourself NOW

Differentiation – what REALLY sets you apart from your competitors?

I recently spoke with a friend of mine and he and I were talking about setting up a Joint Venture with an idea that he has. One of the things that we talked about was how to use Joint Ventures to create massive differentiation from your competition. The reason we got onto this topic as he was speaking with a friend of his and posed the following question to his friend: If I was to bring you extra business from markets that you don’t have access to, would you pay me a commission of the ongoing revenues these new customers create?

What my friend is offering to do here is to set up a Joint Venture to drive traffic to his friends business. Now this could be a quite lucrative win/win arrangement for both my friend and also for his friend. Our conversation then turned the next logical step in this thought process. I hear you asking “How can a bussines use Joint Ventures for differentiation?” Even if you weren’t asking that question, you are now :)

Before we go into that, lets look at WHY a business needs to stand out from the crowd.

If you (or someone you know) are in an industry sector that has seen a decline in business in the last 6-12 months (either less customers or customers spending less) here are my 2 questions:

1. Has there been a proportionate decline in the number of your competitors?
As an example, if there used to be 100,000 people buying from 1,000 businesses in your industry, and now there are only 10,000 people buying from the same 1,000 businesses there is clearly going to be a massive revenue reduction. Sure some of your competitors may have gone out of business but my guess is that this competitor decline has not been proportionate to your customer/spend decline.

2. What are you doing that’s different to your competitors?
Using the same example above, are you doing enough to make sure that you are getting the attention of the massively reduced customer base?

One of the challenges that I face with some of my clients is that they often want to do what their competitors are doing – now sometimes this can be effective, but generally is this really differentiation? Just because something is new to you doesn’t mean you are differentiating yourself.

One of the process that I teach is the practical implementation of Joint Ventures.

Joint Ventures has been, and always will be one of the most powerful marketing tactics ever! And for good reason:

* They are easy to set up, and generally they cost you nothing.
* Anybody can start using joint ventures to skyrocket their profits.
* It doesn’t matter what you sell, or where you sell it.
* I recommend wherever possible to focus on the mandate of Joint Ventures are best when they are No risk, No time, No selling, Little to No Money

Consider this: If you could stand out from your competitors, add massive value to your customers and inspire existing and new customers to spend more money, what would your bottom line look like?

Lets look at these factors a bit further:

1. Differentiation – only 2% of small to medium sized businesses use Joint Ventures – nearly ALL big businesses use Joint Ventures
2. Massive customer appreciation – one specific strategy is to give away other peoples stuff for free, which in turn drives word of mouth referrals = more customers.
3. Increase customer spend – customers love getting a deal (if you don’t believe this statement then you have never bought a combo deal at a fast food restaurant…) and will pay more money if the see value in it.

AND if you could set these up to create additional streams of income for you and your business wouldn’t this make Joint Ventures an undeniably amazing value proposition?

The short answer of course is YES.

Don’t freak out if this doesn’t make sense to you right now – it will after you expand your comfort zone and increase your learning.

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