The “Ah-Ha” Factor in Business

She had an idea. She also had competitors. They had money. She did not. The website would be expensive, and then it would only do something close to what the custom programmed solutions that her competition was using could do.

I know from observing small businesses that a shoestring startup CAN compete with a big business, even when the way in which they do it is not as convenient. But it can only happen if the business has the “ah-ha” factor.

This is the thing that makes it desirable – something that the other businesses do not, or cannot do. Something you do that is unique.

In our business, it is the way we work with our clients, and the fact that we understand their needs in a way that larger companies do not.

For some, it is a unique product that cannot be found elsewhere.

For others it is a specialized service that no one else provides.

I didn’t know what it would be for her. I asked her what she could do differently to set herself apart. She thought about it overnight.

The next day she said, almost apologetically, “The only thing I could think of was this…” She then explained that there was an age factor in the equation, and that she wanted to target a different age group. The concept was perfect. The little idea she was not sure had merit was the key she needed to turn a hopeless quest into an achievable goal.

She now had something that the others not only did not do, but COULD not do without breaking their business model. She had something that every person in her target market wanted, but was afraid to SAY they wanted – but which, once they found it, they would share with their friends. She had a powerful “ah-ha” factor that would open the door to success for her.

Sometimes we miss that key point in our business, because it seems so common or ordinary to us. We take for granted the very thing that makes us different and salable. When we learn to identify it and leverage it for the real benefit that it is, our business becomes something unique and unmatchable.

In effect, we have dealt with the competition by crafting our business in such a way that they are no longer the competition.  Short term, it is always hard to get started in anything new. But long term, that difference is what will propel us to the top, and which will help our business to grow beyond the power of our own marketing reach.

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