Every business is different and can (and should) have a selling point that’s unique - that differentiates it from all its competitors. Does your business have one?
This is part II of a three-part series on ‘Is Your Business Idea worth Investing In?’

Do you know what smart investors look for when they consider your business plan?

This blog series is based on Reid Hoffman’s ‘Three Rules for Investing’. 

Hoffman is arguably one of the smartest investors out there; he is the co-founder of LinkedIn, an investor in online companies such as Facebook, Zynga, Flickr, Digg etc.
His first rule judges startups based on their ability to reach a massive audience. I’ve covered this rule and ways to achieve it in my earlier post: Is Your Business Idea Worth Investing In? - Build a Massive Audience.

His second rule, concerns the startup’s ability to identify and market its USP. We will discuss some of the most common USPs in this post. 

Remember, every business is different and can (and should) have a selling point that’s unique - that differentiates it from all its competitors. (Feel free to tweet that.)

USP #1: Speed

Is your USP speed? Can you deliver in two days what your competitor can in ten? Often, prospects don’t mind paying a premium if it means getting the finished product delivered faster. Now, this product need not be tangible. Of course, if you are a direct competitor to Amazon, ‘Speed’ will entail delivering the ordered products faster than Amazon can.

However, this is just as applicable to services. For instance, I am a freelance writer and if I can accommodate clients that need faster turnarounds, I am differentiating myself from other freelance writers who can’t.

So, if speed is your USP, it has to be fast enough to be considerably better than that of your direct competitors.

There is a catch: Choose speed as your USP only if you can keep up. Don’t forget to account for unexpected delays. If you don’t keep your speed promises, you’ll lose customers.

USP #2: Quality

You could choose quality as your USP. The products you sell could be healthier, packaged better or of a quality unmatched by your competitors.

Similarly, if you provide services, not products, you could provide higher quality service, ensure excellent pre and post-sales customer support and consequently give your clients an experience that they’d be willing to pay a premium for.

USP #3: Price

Both the USPs discussed above are cost-independent. If you are giving your customers either speed or quality unlike what they’d receive from your competitors, you don’t need to compete for price anymore. However, if you can’t deliver either of those USPs, you can choose to compete on price.

This is one of the worst USPs you can choose, because it generally gets you neither quality customers, nor loyal ones. It additionally, tends to affect your profits.

Price, as an USP, should be chosen only and only if you can’t compete on any other parameter. 

USP #4: Likability

With the rise in social networking, some brands are choosing to define their USP as likability and it is a smart move. If you show a prospective investor that you have the means to drive droves of genuine fans to like your facebook page or follow you on Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, that hints at a huge following that’d be willing to buy your products or service.

So, Likability as an USP may be unusual, but if your brand, product or service lends itself to attracting a huge number of followers, than you may want to pursue and cash in on it. 

Investors want to know what you’d be using to market yourself to the masses or your target audience. What will set you apart from your competitors?

I’d like to reiterate at this point, that the four USP options given above aren’t the only ones to choose from. Your business is unique. Analyze your offerings, your staff, your way of doing things and then decide what benefit you can give your customers/clients and your investors – this will be your USP.

Your Turn

Feel free to share other USPs that successful businesses are using, your business’ USP and your thoughts on the importance of having one, in the comment box below.

Share, tweet and spread the word. Also, subscribe to this blog's feed (see the subscribe option in the sidebar) to receive an update when I add another useful and awesome post for your business.

Author: Urooj Kazi is a professional freelance business writer. To hire her to write content for your business, visit this website's Contact Urooj page. 
12/21/2012 17:11:52

Hi Urooj,
Great post. Unique sales proposition is important for more than just attracting investors, of course. It's the main thing that sets you apart from competitors, as you've observed here. It's also neat to see a breakdown of just what makes up a USP too. Thanks for sharing this post with the BizSugar community!

12/23/2012 20:04:50

Thanks Heather! I am glad you, and so many others on BizSugar, found the article useful. Have a great day!

5/29/2013 11:04:49

that still depends on what kind of business you or we are in and how the market is growing..

6/7/2013 07:51:58

Thanks for talking about information. I discovered the post very useful as well as interesting. I will come returning to analysis some more.

7/16/2013 12:16:04

Yeah. You have a point there. I live in India, and our government is promoting startup ideas these days. Actually we have a startup village here. If your idea is unique, they will help you to get investment and infrastructure. Regards.

9/19/2013 10:25:03

I would like to thank you for your nicely written post, its informative and your writing style encouraged me to read it till end


The ability to come up with a business idea can be transformed into a viable business, where ideas supported by feasibility and a business plan can then be sold to interested investors, firms, and interested parties for a lump sum or a management contract, or as agreed. Thanks.

8/22/2013 08:58:23

This is a really super post. Must admit that you are amid the best writer I have read. I appreciate your making the effort to discuss this class of article.


Establishing goals is the easiest way to decide how to move forward and stay on the right path to reach the aspirations you have for the company.

9/4/2013 09:56:57

It is hard to get business well but you have to be educated a lot and work hardly and the success will come.

9/8/2013 08:05:37

First time reading this blog, just wanted to say hi.


This is nice post which I was awaiting for such an article and I have gained some useful information from this site.Thanks for sharing this information.


I like investing very much. If you are the professional in tsuch sphere, you are very lucky guy. I want to visit the training for investing skills development.


Leave a Reply.

    Hire Me


    Subscribe to Feed

    Enter your email address:


    June 2013
    May 2013
    December 2012
    November 2012

    Let's Connect!

    The WordCount Blogathon

    You May Also Like:


    Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.