Every business benefits from having a unique selling point (USP), something that they offer that maybe a little quirky or a service not usually offered elsewhere. If you look around at each shop, garage, event or even a café you come across, they will all have something going for it, something a little different.
What you have to think about is what motivates this USP in the first place? Some businesses are perhaps out of the way and have poor footfall so need drive traffic to their place of business. For some what works is a Chalk Board/Sign usefully put out on the road and they make it a feature of their business. I can immediately think of a small cafe in Kilcoole who did exactly that and would change their chalk board everyday. People would see their board and comment about it on their Facebook page and share it.
It wasn't long before they started a Facebook page and just had pages and pages of dedicated chalk boards, much to the amusement of locals in the area. A few years back a farm shop opened up in Rathfarnham, fantastically out of the way but had a fab video that they uploaded of the journey from the M50 to their place of business. The same venue also had a very different concept on self service with an honesty box! Many small businesses worry that they have to keep prices low, have main street locations and spend fortunes on marketing. Now don't get me wrong, you should spend fortunes on marketing! (joke!) But if you have the right twist on it, it can spark the imagination of your potential customer.
You may have come across The Happy Pear in Greystones. It is a very successful business in Co. Wicklow and people travel far and wide for their USP. They are a vegetarian café / restaurant and have fantastic social media / marketing coverage and great respect locally. However, they haven't become complacent! They are constantly finding something else new to market and continue to be imaginative and have for a while now had "suspended coffee".
That's all well and good for businesses that provide goods, but what twist could you have for a service? As a service myself, I looked around to see what my competitors were doing and realised that they were all interested in group classes, so I decided to specialise in 1-2-1's at the beginning. I initially also gave away free social media reviews every month with a Business Showcase, that was one of my USP's.
When looking for your USP, look around at competitors, see how they promote themselves and what possibly motivates them to do it that way? What could you do to streamline things for your customer or give them more worth for their money without breaking your business in the process?
You don't need to do it forever, just long enough to build up ambassadors and a proven track record.