What is your normal that is unique to your customers?
You may have heard the term “value proposition,” “unique selling proposition,” “competitive advantage,” etc, etc. In the end what they all mean is that your business does something better than all of your competition AND that something is unique to your customers. In other words, it is something that customers can’t do for themselves.
In Direct Capital’s case, one thing we do that is normal for us is setting up financing for companies that need equipment vital to their business. We’ve been doing it for 16 years and have made (and continue to make) the process as simple, fast and cost effective as possible.
However, that’s not all we do and it’s because we are constantly asking ourselves the question “what is our normal that is unique to our customers”. For example, a necessary part of our business is the disposition of off-lease and repossessed equipment. The larger we have gotten the more equipment we have sold.
It didn’t start out this way 16 years ago, but today selling equipment has become our normal and we’ve become very good at it. It didn’t take long to realize that as a result of the recent recession (think optimistically!) there are business owners with excess equipment they need to sell to insure healthy cash flow. As a result, our equipment consignment program was born including a large store on eBay, a subscription service in which buyers can find out about recent additions to our inventory, and a group on LinkedIn for both buyers and sellers of equipment.
Asking what is your normal is no more than a different perspective to understand how you can help your customers. You started your business because you believed there was something you could do better than anyone else. Put another way, you asked yourself “what is my normal that is unique to potential customers?”
Have you continued to ask that question? Here’s the challenge – as you dust yourself off after fighting and clawing your way through the recession, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what made the difference and ask yourself again what is normal to you. Chances are it has changed since you first opened your business, or since the recession started, and there are likely new opportunities waiting for you to grab them.
Got a new addition to your product or service line up you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments.
Photo credit to jendo at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/809192