There are many statistics out there that tell us that most businesses are doomed from the start. The well-referenced ones suggest that 95% of startups don’t make it past the first year. You can Google the gloom and doom and the data ranges from country to country and industry to industry.

Regardless of where you look, you know the odds of succeeding are against you. You’ve got to do everything in your power to succeed.  Many problems arise due to lack of planning, lack of cash flow and lack of foresight. One of the major issues is the misguided notion that you need to watch the competition and try to ‘beat’ them. What if you tried something different?

Rather than beating the competition, you can eliminate them from your business for good! Follow these five steps and watch them become a non-issue.

1. Mindset

Tony Robbins very famously says “Where focus goes energy flows” and this is applicable when you’re thinking about standing out from your competitors. If you’re focussing on them rather than on yourself, then your attention and energy is going the wrong way. It also has you being reactive rather than proactive.

Focus only on what you are doing rather than what the competition is doing.

2. What makes you different?

Common marketing training will suggest that you need to know your unique proposition. Many get confused by this, because what you do is likely to be similar to your competitors. Accountants all offer very similar services. Graphic designers, too. Product sellers even more so.

Rather than trying to use this as a point of differentiation in your business, instead look at the person behind and in the business. You can use the way you have grown your business and your team as your point of difference.

Eg. You may have a decade of experience doing what you do for someone else, this could be your point of difference. Alternately, perhaps you bring a brand new fresh vibe to what you do because you’re new to the industry. You could even assert that you care more than anyone else in your industry.

You are the point of difference.

3. Audience selection

Knowing exactly who you want to market to in your business is key to successful marketing and fast results. Whilst your service and or product may be able to help everyone you need to be more specific in order to stand out.

For instance, you could market to over 40 year old women who have 2 children under 3. Knowing these specifics will see your marketing laser focussed on them rather than on the general public. There’s enough people around the world for you to be specific and it will create results faster.

4. Positioning

Thinking about positioning yourself as an expert in your industry can lead to feeling like you’re in a constant battle with your competitors. It’s time to shift your focus. You don’t need to be seen as an expert alongside of your competitors. You need to position yourself as an expert to your audience.

Start always with your ideal audience in mind and share your content, opinions and advice with them in a way that has them seeing you as their expert. Let everyone else try to position themselves as expert in ‘the industry’. You just need to do what you can for your ideal audience and be seen as an expert for them.

5. Consistency

Lack of consistency erodes momentum when you’re marketing yourself and growing your visibility. Regardless of how long you have been in business for, you must show up in your marketing consistently, particularly on social media.

When you do this, your business, your name and your face are visible to your audience every single day, making it much harder for them to forget who you are. You are going to be the person or business that comes to mind when they think of needing your services. Most business owners are too afraid to do this for fear of being too annoying in a newsfeed. There is no such thing. Do what you can to be front of mind for your audience, all the time.

Nicola Moras is an online visibility expert, author of VISIBLE a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing. Nicola helps clients around the world achieve visibility, impact and profits. Find out more at www.nicolamoras.com.au