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Differentiating your firm is important and gives you a sustainable, competitive advantage. These are five of our favorites.
Now, we all know that differentiating our firm is important, and these are five that I find seem to work particularly well for folks.
1. Specialize in an Industry
The first one is to specialize in an industry. It’s perhaps one of the most common differentiators and one of the most effective one for a lot of folks, finding an industry that you can really focus on so you understand the industry as well as the people in there.
2. Have Individuals Within Your Firm Who Are Visible Experts
My second favorite one is have one or more individuals within your firm who are Visible Experts. Those are the people that are well known for the expertise they hold. It’s a very natural way and works well if you’re going after a service. It’s more specialized where you wanna get to a higher-end billing rate as opposed to something that’s more commoditized.
3. Offer a Unique Business Model
The third one is to offer a unique business model. Flip the business model on your head. For example, if most of your competitors are trying to offer more service and to go after higher-end larger firms, how about flipping it around and offer more of a self-service approach and go for the lower-end market? In other words, be where they’re not.
4. Offer a Unique Set of Information
The fourth one I’d like to mention is offering a unique set of information that’s not available elsewhere. What might that be? Well, perhaps you’ve done a survey of the market that you’re focused on, or, maybe, you flipped it around and you accumulated information from multiple sources and done an analysis and put it together. But if it’s information that’s not available elsewhere, and it’s important to your potential clients, it’s a good way to attract them.
5. Specialize in Producing a Unique or Valuable Result
Now, I’d like to talk about specializing in producing a unique or valuable result. This is perhaps one of the more difficult ones to understand, but let’s say you’re interested in tax savings, and you say, “Our business model is to focus on how to do tax savings with state and local taxes. That’s our sole focus, and we deliver that model.” So you don’t focus so much on the service you do. You focus more on the result that you deliver.