Small Business
Business INSIGHTS e-News for Professional Services
Differentiate Your Company

Learn how standing out from the crowd may help your business.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a commodity as something useful that can be turned to commercial or other advantage. Among accounting firms, many useful services--tax preparation, personal financial planning and bookkeeping--are commodities that other accounting firms also offer. How can you position your firm's offerings as more than that?

Leverage Your Strengths

Differentiation is more than using generic marketing jargon like "provides exceptional client service" or "commitment to quality." Any firm--in any industry--can make these claims. Indeed, these are not differentiators but table-stakes that every firm must put up to stay in business.

Instead, state what is truly unique about your firm, its products and services. Of course, the first step is to determine whether clients and prospective clients are attracted to this differentiation. However, if you're confident that your differentiation strategy will resonate with the clients and prospects you want to reach, then it's time to put your strategy into action.

Be Desirable

One of the most powerful ways to differentiate your firm is to create a sense of exclusivity by offering your services to a particular client demographic or vertical industry. For example, if many of your current clients are in the healthcare field, your differentiation strategy might including detailing how your expertise serving the healthcare market helps you provider better and more targeted services.

Differentiation can allow you to capture market share from "me-too" competitors. Many firms are afraid to alienate potential clients by making bold differentiation statements, although differentiators generally contribute to a more loyal client base.


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