What is a USP? A complete beginners guide –

When you are a construction business owner you may be looking into many different strategies to help you get ahead. It may be paid advertising, marketing through events, emails, or creating your own content for social media channels. All of these are tried and tested ways of generating more business. But you may find that it isn’t quite getting the results you are after, and this could be down to one simple reason. You don’t know your USP. 

 

Not only do you not know it, but you also are then not using it to drive your marketing attempts for your construction business. But what is a USP? Why is having one important? And how can you find your USP for your construction business? 

 

Welcome to Develop Coachings guide to construction business’ USPs. 

 

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know to get started with your business’ USP, including: 

 

  • What is a USP and why it is important 
  • 3 great examples of companies USP
  • Some tips and tools to help you succeed in finding your USP

 

So read on to find out how your USP can transform your business and make it stand out from the crowd. 

 

 

USP stands for Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition. It is everything that makes your business different from the other companies out there that offer similar services to you. It communicates what you do and how you stand out from your competition. It usually is no more than one or two sentences but should be used to influence every interaction you have with your potential clients. It should be used on everything from your website to your Facebook posts.

 

 

Most construction companies will claim they offer a great service, so if you have no unique products or services you will be competing solely on price. This strategy may work in the early stages of a start-up, but as your business starts to expand and your overheads increase, prices have to rise to stay afloat. The problem is that your clients don’t care about your overheads. If they see nothing else of value within your communication with them, then you will lose that sale.  

 

Standing out is much easier said than done though. You may have a specialist product that is rare, but for most of us we offer services and products that are similar to our competitors and it can be difficult. But I promise you it can be done. Apple phones are a great example. Apple has a high-end product but when you compare solely on features they are similar to their competitors. How do they outsell their rivals every time? It’s not a unique product, but they have worked out a way to stand out with branding and reputation, and offer exceptional service and a unique experience in their stores. 

 

You may be thinking that your company is nothing like Apple, but the point is you don’t have to be selling a unique product to stand out. The way to do that is to focus on what you can offer that is exceptional and different to others, your USP. That will mean that your marketing starts to not only be clear across your platforms, but your customers will be able to clearly identify how you can help them and are the best choice for their needs. 

 

It may seem a bit overwhelming to start. Through my construction business coaching program, I have worked with many construction business owners like you to identify their USPs and have identified the best process. First of all, it’s useful to see some good examples of USPs that are very successful at showing the company’s values.  

 

 

 

I mentioned Apple earlier as a great example of clear unique selling propositions that help them stand out from their competitors. They can sell a mobile phone for upwards of £1,000 when their rival Nokia can only charge £350 for their most expensive phone, which has many similar features. 

Even though Apple’s product is triple the price, they will outsell Nokia time and time again and are hugely profitable. Why? It’s not that they have a unique product, as the Nokia phone is almost the same. Apple has developed a way to stand head and shoulders above the competition. They communicate through their marketing that: 

  • It is cool to be seen with an Apple phone through their branding and reputation.
  • They also offer exceptional service in their stores, providing a unique experience that helps drive sales and inspire customer loyalty.  
  • Their products have simple and easy-to-use functionalities.

 

  1. – The AA (Automobile Association): ‘To our members, we’re the fourth emergency service.’ 

 

The breakdown service The AA has a powerful USP. This USP talks to their customers’ fears. For someone vulnerable, it would be a nightmare for their car to break down on the side of a motorway. The AA reassures them that they will come to save them like a knight in shining armour. They communicate through their marketing that: 

 

  • They value safety and feel trustworthy
  • They take care of 
  • Worth investing to take away any worry from car owners and

 

  1. – Canva: “Empowering the world to design”

 

The online graphic design platform Canva has one of the best Unique Selling Proposition examples in the industry. Primarily they focus on streamlining the graphic design process to let anyone design beautifully. You don’t need to worry about paying for or learning to use expensive programs Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. “Empowering the world to design” shows what makes the service unique and better without using too many words to explain. They convey through their marketing and USP:

 

  • The product is simple and easy to use; drag and drop feature, ready-made templates, etc.
  • Good value and low prices, more people can afford
  • Competitive advantage in the market

 

 

In order to think about your USP it could be useful to break it down into two areas: 

 

  • – Your offer
  • – Your customer 

 

As mentioned it can be hard to identify areas to differentiate your company. Have a think about these areas: 

 

  • – Do you have a unique skill set or product?
  • – Do you offer a guarantee?
  • – Is there a quality to your work?
  • – Do you have a signature style?
  • – What materials do you use?
  • – Are you focused on a narrow market?
  • – Is your location important? 
  • – Are you known for exceptional Customer service?
  • – Do you have different business processes?
  • – Is your team known for its speed of service?

 

When you consider what your construction business offers, do you stand out in any of these areas? What is the service or product you are offering to your clients, and, more importantly, why is it better than others? Are you able to articulate that? Can you pitch your product and explain why someone should use you in a confident and convincing way? 

 

Just a little note on exceptional customer service. If you want to see significant and sustained growth then exceptional service must become a core value within your business. It must be the number one priority for you and your staff, and it needs to be constantly reaffirmed. Without exceptional service, your company will be propped up by expensive marketing efforts, cheaper price points and new business only, which leaves you with low profitability. If you offer exceptional service and deliver it, then you can ensure that your clients will choose you over the rest. 

 

The second area you need to understand is who your client, who you are selling to. What are their problems, fears and needs? As mentioned a lot of successful USPs are targeted toward specific needs and fears (like the AA example). So if you are not sure of what these are, you are not going to be able to identify potentially attractive areas to target for your USP.  

 

You should be designing your marketing strategy to attract only your ideal clients. Do the following as an exercise. First, start by writing down who your ideal client is. Be as detailed as you can. Create an avatar of that person. Ask questions like: 

 

  • – What’s their age?  
  • – Where do they live?  
  • – How much do they earn?  
  • – Are they single or married?  
  • – Do they have children?  
  • – What are their interests?  
  • – What magazines do they read?  
  • – What Facebook groups will they visit?

  

Once you’ve worked out who that individual is, start thinking about how they think and feel: 

 

  • – What are their wants?  
  • – What are their needs?  
  • – What are their worries?  
  • – What problems do they have that need solving?  
  • – What are they frustrated with in your industry?  

 

Once you start building up this picture it can help you formulate what your USP needs to be to appeal to and reach this individual. Try to be as specific as you can and don’t fall into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. You will have more success focusing on a specific or niche market. You will attract the types of clients you focus on, so if you don’t like your current crop of clients, maybe it’s time to focus on selling to the ones you do want (provided you can deliver effectively to them).

 

Even after working through the above steps, it can take some time to settle on something that fits. For some help, why not ask previous clients what they thought was great about you? What were they worried about before they purchased your product or service? It’s a great way of getting into the mind of your ideal client – just ask them directly. Once you find your USP it will be liberating and give you direction and clarity on how to move forward. 

 

 

  • Your USP should be no longer than one or two sentences. It needs to be memorable and digestible for your audience, so there is no need to write an essay. 
  • Customers want to solve a problem, so make sure you are answering that problem!
  • Communicate it to everyone, your staff and your clients, and it also needs to flow consistently through your marketing efforts.  

 

 

Now you know how important it is to work out your USP, there is no time to lose! Take the time this week to use our guide and identify what makes your construction business special, and why your customers should come to you and return again and again. 

 

Once you have your USP make sure you use it throughout your communication with your clients and staff. It needs to be the core of your business so reinforce it every time you have a staff meeting, make sure they all know what it is and that your sales staff is mentioning it. As soon as someone asks your staff what it is that you do it should roll off their tongue. Once you achieve this, your business will shine and be able to celebrate all the ways it is unique.

 

If you would like to learn more then look at the Communicate your USP section of my book: Building your future- A step-by-step guide to building a £1million+ construction business. I also offer a FREE ten minute scale session, a chat with me to talk about how you can scale your construction business profitably now. Book now here

 


Greg Wilkes

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