Last week I attended Small Business BC’s annual awards ceremony for business excellence. Since I teach monthly marketing seminars for SBBC, and have helped many entrepreneurs learn to market their businesses over the years, it is always great to see a few of those businesses actually launched and showcased as nominated contestants. Hosted at the Pan Pacific, the event was buzzing with energy and spirit. The event profiles and celebrates five finalists and a winner in eight categories. While all nominated companies where truly deserving, when I reflect on the common characteristics shared by the winners, their approach can be best summarized by three common traits:
1. They had responded to an unfulfilled need of a defined target group.
2. They had few or no primary competitors. (At least not yet!)
3. Their offerings responded to societal trends. (Concerns for medical access, online/mobile/or cloud computing growth, rising awareness of security, and green/environmental interest)
Could it be that a successful entrepreneurial venture lies in simply satisfying all three? I think so. #1 and #3 for sure, and #2 at least initially until first mover advantage is secured. Success often invites competition, but it’s a whole lot easier to establish yourself in a lone field, than battling for share at the introduction and early growth phase. These common traits are also found in some of the most successful large companies and global enterprises.
So perhaps it’s time to consider the following questions as they relate to these success factors, and see how your own product, service or business lines up. Or consider them from the perspective of a client you may work with.
1. Do I respond to an unfulfilled need of a defined target group? What is it that I uniquely do? And whom do I do it for?
2. Who are my primary and secondary competitors? How am I different from them? Why does that matter to my target audience?
3. Is my business aligned to positively take advantage of a growth trend?
If you want some inspiration, here is a list of the Small Business BC winners, a brief overview of their business and links to their websites. It’s so exciting to see entrepreneurial ideas take flight!
Innovation in health care, bringing back the house call, by allowing individuals to connect with family physicians through live online and mobile chat.
Giving piece of mind to small business owners through IT support
Best international trade
Maritime security and monitoring for government and private organizations
Best green business
Awards for the recognition industry using sustainable and reclaimed materials
Cloud computing solutions
Best online marketer
A production company organizing unique events profiling over 250 artisans with original pieces
Best community impact
One of kind locally handcrafted dolls
Mobile coupon platform supporting fundraising for schools and community groups
Premier’s people’s choice award
South Asian specialty grocery story
You can also link here for more background on the winning companies as well as photos from the event: http://www.smallbusinessbc.ca/general-business/presenting-winners-11th-annual-sbbc-awards