It is not easy to stand out from the competition in our industry of landscape, lawn and irrigation services.
Everyone has access to the same tools, materials, software, marketing, etc..
Therefore it’s hard to create a unique product/service, especially one that your clients would deeply desire.
However, if you don’t find a way to stand out, you will sadly discover that the main thing you compete on is price. And when you compete on price, it becomes a race to the bottom.
You Don’t Want To Compete On Price
Therefore you want to develop a unique offering (or unique business approach) that will allow you to pull ahead of the competition.
The challenge I see—and this is a BIG one—is that many entrepreneurs want to avoid doing anything that is brand new i.e. unique.
They want to play it safe, and not go out on a limb by trying something that is not tested or not readily accepted.
It’s a quirk in our primal thinking, that is meant to keep us safe (think back to the caveman days where one mistake cost your life). But it’s this quirk which gets in the way of developing new approaches.
Fear Of Uniqueness
I was talking with a coaching client last month, addressing the low closing ratio of his sales team, and the pricing pressure his team was feeling. I suggested he implement a consultation fee in order to screen out the shoppers.
His response: That won’t work here in our small community. No one does that here. it won’t be accepted.
My response: That is exactly why you want to try this. It’s a chance for you to greatly reduce wasted time spent with bad-fit leads, and because no one else is doing this, it will put you ahead of the competition.
He balked. He was frozen by the fear of the possible negative consequences.
This quirk in thinking is what holds others back, too. I hear it often. “Jeff, your idea won’t work in my market.”
This fear is irrational. No one is shooting at you, nor will they try to shoot at you, if you test out this new idea…
Your challenge. Purposely look for outside-the-box ideas (especially from your team, but also from your clients, and outside the industry) that can solve your problems and create opportunities.
Look for ways to become unique – In how you recruit people, and market and sell your services, and manage and reward your people.
It’s a muscle you must build up; all the leading companies in our industry have strengthened this muscle. How strong is yours?
See Figure: “Where are you king of the mountain?” I will be speaking about this today in my Growth Summit. Your goal is to avoid the “competition zone” (competing head to head where price is the only differentiator) and instead strive to build your business in the “monopoly zone” where your offering is uniquely desirable.