Guess what? Someone else is probably already doing that thing you want to do in your business. She may even be crushing the market and getting all the coins! 

Guess what else? 

She ain’t you! Launch anyway!

I heard recently that Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line--at not even a full two years old (it was launched May 2018) is outpacing long-time household name for intimates, Victoria’s Secret’s sales. Victoria’s Secret still has about 24% of the entire market, but that is down from 32% just two short years ago.  According to a recent Black Enterprise article,

“Rihanna has leveraged her social media power to quickly grow her lingerie brand to an estimated annual revenue of $150 million...Today, Savage x Fenty’s assortment features more than 800 styles ranging in price from $10 to $100. Shipping is offered to 210 countries on the brand’s website, but the company has also partnered with online wholesalers Asos and Zalando, where its styles sell out within a month on average.”

I can hear you you know. And as you’re reading this you’re LOUDLY thinking:

“Waaaaaahhhh, Michelle, you’re tripping (aka full of ish!)!  Rihanna is a celebrity and she’s beautiful and she already has a huge social media following who will buy anything she puts out--Gwyneth Paltrow candle anyone?” *No thanks!*

Look, I hear you loud and clear, because we all say it. We say it so much we believe it to be true. Only people with xyz attributes will be able to be successful selling the thing we want to sell because she has [fill in the blank].

My response:

EXACTLY!!! That’s HER secret sauce!!!! It’s BECAUSE she has those attributes that she is able to sell to HER market. But she's not you! And while your markets may overlap, YOUR market is YOURS.

AND YOUR business may not require ANY of those attributes--trust me, even a ‘big’ social media following is pointless unless you have the right ‘following’ aka your die hard fans, tribe, market of potential customers! Did you see last year’s headlines that read: “An Instagram star with 2 million followers couldn't sell 36 T-shirts, and a marketing expert says her case isn't rare.”

So, instead of comparing apples to oranges and focusing on someone else’s lane start to ponder what secret sauce you can  add to take your business to your next level. 

Here are a few simple ideas to get your juices flowing and to help you distinguish yourself:

1. Make a list of everything your competitor offers.
2. Make a list of everything you offer.
3. Compare and contrast.
4. See what unique experiences you can offer to your customer as part of your service or product.
5. Test your market and see if what you think is special and unique resonates with your customers.
6. Get testimonials when people mention your now not-so-secret sauce aka your unique selling point.
7. Rinse and repeat!

Because once you unlock your secret sauce, and folks start to connect with it and enjoy how different you make them feel, then you will automatically have something different from the thing old girl up the block is selling that you think is just like your idea.

At this moment I’d like to pause for a quick trip to the grocery store:

You’ve seen it before, you’ve heard it before. But just in case this is your first day on social media and you've missed it, I'll repeat: “When you feel discouraged about your business idea because there are so many people around you already doing it, take a trip to the grocery store and look at all the different brands and types of bread there are.” 

Feel better? Good.

BTW, don’t think that you’re alone. Not by far.

In fact, my brick and mortar business, Her Power Space is a co-working Space. So what? There are thousands of coworking spaces across the country. We’re Black owned, that shrinks the pool. We’re Black woman owned, even smaller pool. But honestly, that’s marketing but not my ‘secret sauce.’

So what is my secret sauce? 

Her Power Space “smells nice” (our top stated compliment by visitors: “it smells so good in here”), “it feels homey” (a close second), “I always learn something or meet someone who I can connect with when I’m in the Space”. That’s part of our secret sauce. OH, And we’re ‘out west’ in Sunrise, a portion of Broward County that is completely underserved and lacks resources for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and side hustlers like us.

Is my secret sauce accidental or serendipitous? 

Some of it may be, but as I look back on my journal entry about Her Power Space from 2018 (yep, 2 years before we opened our doors) “smells nice,” and “clean bathrooms” are on my vision/wish/priority list. 

So, again, I ask you WHAT IS YOUR SECRET SAUCE? 

You got it? Good. Now put that ish on everything!!!! AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES LAUNCH!!!!!!

Boy, did I ever use a lot of ALL CAPS in this article. I promise to try to use my inside voice next week. But, this is such a hot button topic for why we won't launch that I had to drive it home.

Drop a comment below about your market and what you sell--or will now sell since you see you have no competition.

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