The importance of differentiation in making one’s mark in the business world has a direct correlation to gaining success as a business leader. Recently, I completed my Masters of Business Administration from Walsh College and found myself at a crossroads. Friends, family, and colleagues began asking me “what are you going to do now?” And to be honest, I had no idea! It also got me to thinking why I decided to pursue this degree in the first place? What I realized was at the heart of my decision – it was all about differentiating myself from my peers, i.e. the competition.
My journey in business has been anything but straightforward. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Notre Dame. Faced with the real world – insurance, rent, etc. – I decided to switch gears and pursue a career in business. During interviews and even as a branch manager for National City Bank (now PNC), my background often surprised others – and not always in a good way. I realized it was important that I do something, and fast, to “adjust” my professional image. Graduate school seemed like the perfect solution.
To my surprise, pursuing my MBA gained me more than I’d hoped. In addition to more respect from my peers and clients – it led to promotions, salary increases, and expanded skills which I continue to use on a daily basis. Of course, like any “upgrade,” it cost me time and money – but the resulting benefits were worth it.
The same goes for your business. Just like potential employers previously judged me by my undergraduate degree first, potential clients in the 21st century use your company website to gain a first impression of your business. If it is outdated, if links are broken, or if it looks like every other website in your industry – you could be losing “candidates” to competitors who have a unique, functioning website filled with quality content. A website that is just as good as your competitor across town isn’t helping you to win new customers, and it certainly isn’t helping to grow your business.
Overall, what I hope you’ll take away from all this, is how important being different, better, or unique is to your business. Take a good look at your website and the websites of your competitors. Are you just like the other guy? Or similar to my experience with a degree unrelated to my occupation, could it be that you’re possibly lagging behind with an old, irrelevant, or “underwhelming” website?
If the answer is yes, or if you’re not sure, I encourage you to give us a call. We’ll sit down with you and discuss ways to make your website work better and harder for you. Does improving your website cost money? Yes. Will it take some investment of time? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely, 100% YES!