Entrepreneurs often start their businesses by repeating processes that have been instilled and validated by competitors and other companies that therefore provide a safe ground to launch a business with.
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However, focusing on doing things differently, very differently, can be the fuel that you need to attract customers to your business.
The great quote by Bill Cosby "I don't know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone" is as true as they come. Being everything to everyone can cause distraction within your business and confusion among your customers. Focusing on one or two attributes or activities that let you really stand out from the competition will not attract everyone, but it will attract the right customers to your business. Those customers that come to you because of your differences, value those differences that you have instilled in your business and can often be difficult for competitors to replicate.
Standing out from the crowd is easier said than done. This is often a risky venture that requires you to stick your neck out and take a stand with out prior knowledge of the outcome. Being different isn't enough to succeed, but it is required to be successful when starting your business. Being different, along with a lot of luck and skill is what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the un-successful entrepreneurs. If you have a lot of luck and skill on your side, focusing on doing things differently will help you in your early success.
One entrepreneur that comes to mind as a businessman who did things completely different is Gary Vaynerchuck, of Wine Library TV. In his own words, "With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary spent every weekend of his college years at his parents' store, rebranding the family business as Wine Library and establishing himself as a respected expert. As the store's only wine buyer, he sampled every wine that entered the store. Customers depended on Gary for his advice and within a five year time period, Wine Library grew from a $4 million dollar business to a $45 million business."
Gary's family run wine business was your typical corner liquor store, but Gary saw opportunities to extend the business nationwide by leveraging the internet to educate wine drinkers on the abundant variety of fabulous wines to try. How many corner liquor stores do you see on the internet today? Probably not many, and Gary I guarantee was the first to do it right. By providing consumers with in-depth analysis and fresh insight on wine, he was able to create a strong following of readers and listeners that eventually bought wine from his tiny corner wine store. Today, Gary is a nationally acclaimed expert in not only wine, but in online marketing, not because he has an MBA in Marketing, but because he did thinks differently, so differently that he has probably become the most successful corner liquor store in the world.