When you’re the new kid on the block it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

So, what separates a professional from an inexperienced newcomer?

Having worked with many entrepreneurs and business owners over the years I have noticed there are essentially 4 proven ways to set yourself up for success.

 #1  Get clear on who your ideal customer is

Aim at a small target and you are far more likely to make a direct hit.

You need to effectively understand the person or group of people for whom you can produce the best results.

Your key is to find this very narrow group, with very specific demographics or very specific problems or needs and create raving fans.

Do not make the mistake many new business owners make of aiming at a wide audience and trying to please everyone.

You will end up wasting a lot of your marketing dollars and taking on customers who become major headaches.

From the very beginning you need to specialise, not generalise.

#2  Know who your competitors are

When you are starting your business from the ground up it is really important to know who you are competing against.

You can learn so much from finding out what is working for your competitors and what is not.

In the process you could find new opportunities and untapped markets for your product or service.

#3  Understand your offering inside out

You must be able to express and/or demonstrate to your prospects with accuracy and precision what problems your service can solve and what improvements you can make to their lives.

And, most important of all, why doing business with you is more beneficial than doing business with your competitors.

#4  Deliver exceptional customer service

Connect with your customers on a personal level and show them you truly care.

It can be the difference between a customer forgetting about you the moment their transaction is over, and that same person returning to become a loyal customer for life.

These are proven ways to establish credibility quickly and build that all important know-like-trust factor with your potential audience.