The number one secret of commercial success is "be unique". I cannot stress this strongly enough -- you must offer solutions in products or services that no one else is offering. Most businesses just go out there and do what everybody else is doing, especially from a customer's perspective.
This, my friend, will get you nowhere. If you are not unique, you're like a tomato seller at the markets -- you offer the same goods as everyone else, and all you can do to get more customers is drop your price. This is no way to put more money in your pockets. Your business will not survive very long if that's your strategy.
Ask yourself this question: Why are some things expensive and other cheap? It's because those that are expensive are unique, rare, or just hard to get. On the other hand, those that are cheap are usually easily obtainable.
If you aim is to make money, you should strive to make yourself unique, not just another commonly available commodity. When you produce something that's a commodity, there is nothing to differentiate you from anyone else, except price. That's exactly where you don't want to be, because inevitably you will have to drop your price and cut your margins to keep your customers. Continue to do this, and you will quickly go broke.
Your goal in everything you do from now on, in setting up, running, maintaining, and developing your business, must be aimed at achieving this uniqueness.
Every aspect of your business -- from developing or manufacturing your product or service to its promotion and delivery -- must have a unique angle. And not only must it be unique, but its uniqueness must be understood and appreciated by a large group of customers (its market) to make its manufacture worthwhile.
It's a huge mistake to start, or run, a business thinking you're unique when you're not, or for some reason to keep your uniqueness a secret. In the 1980's IBM thought their PCs were unique -- until they lost an entire market to clone PCs that did the same thing, but sold much cheaper. In the 1970's Xerox thought they were unique because they developed the commercial photocopier -- until Canon started selling them at half price.
The moral of the story is this: "Be Unique, be different, and have a unique selling proposition." You do that and you will have a better than average chance at having a successful business. And in this market, you should be trying to gain an edge over the competition any way you can.
Carlos C. Johnson III
The UnderCover Millionaire