So we are starting a landscape company from scratch and we are just outlining our discussion based on the Small Business Administration's (SBA) page on How To Write A Business Plan. The SBA pages will guide us and we will work to put their suggestions to work within the context of the landscape industry.
In our company description our goal is to provide our basic goals and to define what is your unique business (or selling) proposition. Let's take a couple of minutes to go try to define what is a unique selling proposition. We invite you to jump to an article from Entrepreneur Magazine on unique selling proposition for a solid overview.
Since you are just getting started with your business, it can be a little tricky to get started on defining your unique selling proposition. A good place to start is by trying to identify who you think you will be competing against.
Just trying to identify who you think your competition is going to be is a great exercise in the development of your business plan. For example, if you make a list of five to ten competitors, you will be able to start to define your unique selling proposition. You will be able to look at this list and begin to see some similarities between these companies. From this point, you can start to build a framework for your unique business proposition and your business.
For instance, if each of the competitors you listed are doing residential lawn care, you now know you are thinking of starting a residential lawn care business not a commercial landscape business. You may aspire to do commercial work some day, but at first you envision yourself competing against companies in the residential market.
While this seems pretty obvious at first, start looking more closely at the services these companies are providing and how each company is marketing itself to their customers and prospects. For instance, does every company offer the same range of services such as irrigation repair, landscape lighting, fall winterizations of irrigations systems and more? What services are they not providing that you could provide to make your business unique?
Asking these types of questions can help you start to define your unique business proposition. How are you going to be different than the competitors you anticipate going against?
Be sure to also review your unique business proposition from the view of the customer you are targeting. Is your target customer looking for other elements from the contractor they eventually choose? Each of the competitors you listed may be able to provide a quality of product similar to what you are offering, but there are other elements you should consider. For instance, how do the competitive companies you identified appear on the job site? How do they handle other elements such as common courtesy, personal greetings or other parts of the customer experience?
Write down your ideas on your unique selling proposition.