14 Entrepreneurs Explain What Makes Their Businesses Unique

In the current generation of business being unique is a top priority to getting noticed. Each day some new story comes out about some creative marketing plan that takes the cake and drives huge traffic to a business. The Taco Liberty Bell April Fool’s joke or Verizon’s real life ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ promo can only be described as unique. If a business is to survive and thrive making an effort to be unique is a must. Whether you pull a unique marketing stunt, have products which need no introduction or style yourself as an innovative CEO, having a defining quality is what customers will notice.

1) Love of God & Dedication to the Christian Faith

What sets my business apart from others is that I have been able to marry my love of God and my dedication to the Christian faith into a full service company with thousands of customers all over the world. I have done this in three ways. I offer a free weekly email newsletter entitled Empower Yourself which gives my readers a boost of inspiration to start their week. I am also an NYU certified life coach that works with men and women in person or over the phone to solve problems and put an action plan into place and do it all in the context of their faith. And finally, I have just written and published a best selling daily devotional called the Having A Heart For God, 365 Days of the One Minute Bible Study. I think success has come because I really do what I love and I make it my personal mission to share my passion and belief that all things are really possible with God.

Thanks to Tracy Fox, Having a Heart for God!

2) Fair Trade

I Thought of You sells sustainable and fair trade jewelry that’s not only beautiful, but also has a beautiful story behind it. All of our items transform lives in a real way by offering sustainable income opportunities for people in developing countries. Our commitment to fair trade means each artisan is fairly compensated for their time, labor, and talent while maintaining goods that are good for people and good for the environment. When customers say yes to our fair trade, eco-friendly gifts, they’re saying no to sweatshops, unfair wages, and child labor.

Thanks to Mandy Nagel, I Thought of You!

3) Giving Back

With so many pet sitting companies and websites out there, it can be difficult to stand out. However, Sitting for a Cause does just that by giving 50% of our profits to animal related causes. To us, it makes sense to help pets that are in need of homes by using money we earn providing exceptional care to pets that already have homes. In our first two years of business with just one sitter on our roster, we've been able to give over $4600 to help homeless pets find their furever homes. In 2015 we aim to expand so we can give back on an even larger level. It is our ultimate goal to do our part to help reduce euthanasia rates in the United States. We believe that 3-4 million pets being euthanized each year is unacceptable and are dedicated to doing our part to bring the euthanasia rate of adoptable pets down to 0%. It is our commitment to giving back and doing our part to reduce euthanasia rates that sets us apart from other businesses.

Thanks to Ashley Jacobs, Sitting for a Cause!

4) Relationships We Build

What makes StorkGifts unique and different from our competitors is the relationships we build with our customers. Although we do not deal with our customers face to face and rarely even via phone, somehow, we have been able to build personal relationships over the past 12 years. A customer from Los Angeles invited me to visit her at the movie studio where she worked if I ever was in town. I called her when I had a family trip planned to LA. We met her at the studio and she gave my entire family a back stage tour. A customer from Indiana was coming to St. Louis for work. He called me and wanted to meet my woodcrafter and me in person. When my assistant was hired, and I no longer answered the daily phone calls, many customers asked my whereabouts and if I was ok. These relationships have been built through our personalized customer service mentality as well as our blog posts and email marketing.

Thanks to Melissa Chelist, StorkGifts!

5) Medium to Create

Although other groups that teach coding exist, Tech Talent South truly believes that coding isn’t only a valuable tool for anyone willing to learn it, but it's own language and a medium to create wonderful things with as well. Our co-founders, Betsy and Richard, created TTS with the knowledge that tech startups can bloom in a matter of weeks, and if they could make coding knowledge more accessible to others, they could help them accomplish great things. TTS is especially invested in getting women involved in the coding community.

Thanks to Ray Howard, Tech Talent South!

6) Everyone's a Mom

Everyone on my staff is a Mom! And they all work from home and design their work schedules. it's a terrific, very unique situation.

Thanks to Amy Maurer Creel, Smart Mom, LLC!

7) Pay for Performance

What makes the Pay for Performance Plan so unique and how does it work? In a nutshell, the Plan makes an owner out of every single one of our employees. Basically, a customer will rate their service on a scale from 1-10. The rating – and that rating alone – directly determines the compensation level paid to the two housecleaners assigned to the home. Customer feedback is the only factor utilized when determining employee compensation. The Plan revolutionized the cleaning industry and has always created significant buzz for our company. Over the years, hundreds of companies have reached out to us with offers to actually purchase the Plan from our company. People from all over the world have contacted us with questions about the Plan. Copycat models of the Plan have popped up and disappeared just as quickly. And most importantly, thousands of customers have hired us primarily because of the Plan.

Thanks to Ron Holt, Two Maids & A Mop!

8) We Are Structured like a Military Infantry Unit

It wasn't hard to do this, coming from the military and when 75% of your staff are veterans, it just seemed to make sense. At first we structured our company like an infantry line unit because we understood that more than a traditional corporate structure, but now it's paying off in huge dividends. We have team members, team leaders, squad leaders, platoon sergeants and even a company First Sergeant, I'm the Commanding Officer right now. What makes this so universal is that we can scale to near infinite ends. A company line unit has the same structure as a battalion, brigade, division, etc. So no matter how fast we grow, communication and functions do not change in our structure.

Thanks to Daniel Alarik, GruntStyle.com!

9) New Economic Revolution

The unique thing about Kickfurther is that on the Kickfurther platform people have an option to earn great returns with brands they believe in. This is the first time people can choose which specific companies to back, and this is just the start. We are giving people a way to carve out some of the profit from the retail industry for themselves. With more and more jobs being replaced by automation, there need to be new ways for normal people to earn a share of the profits. Kickfurther is a step in that direction and we are really excited to be at the forefront of a new economic revolution.

Thanks to Sean De Clercq, Kickfurther!

10) Two words: FIRE and ICE

We exclusively offer our clients service that is Fully Informed with Reasonable Expectations (FIRE) and the Ideal Client Experience (ICE). Tax Defense Network is also unique because of our strategic approach to offering American tax solutions. Our company works with a nationwide “network” of licensed tax professionals, to ensure our clients get precisely the type of assistance they need. That means that no matter where a taxpayer lives in the United States, Tax Defense Network is able to offer a solution that is both affordable and convenient. Now that Tax Defense Network has partnered with Jackson Hewitt, we can offer an even more dynamic, inclusive range of services to help every taxpayer, everywhere. Ultimately, we believe that our unique ability to help anyone with their tax problems is crucial to our success as an industry leader.

Thanks to Joe Valinho, Tax Defense Network, LLC!

11) Novel Solutions & Technical Innovation

What makes our business unique is that we provide novel solutions through technical innovation in a niche which is still dominated by old school web sites. Even though romantic fiction is one of the most successful book genres out there, there are not many start-ups covering that industry. Online hubs around it are sparse, and usually exist in the form of blogs or forums. We are providing features that are based on advanced algorithms (such as our novel content search which is based on backend algorithms to extract and weigh content keywords) and thus get an edge over our direct competitors.

Thanks to Silke Jahn, Romance and Smut!

12) No Vacation Policy

Blank Label has no official vacation policy. Ownership is one of the company's core values which means the company provides full transparency on financials, everyone in the company has stock incentives and is expected to have a owners' work ethic, which to us means work hard when it is needed and feel comfortable taking personal time when needed. The result is people feel accountable, rewarded and trusted.

Thanks to Fan Bi, Blank Label!

13) Harnessing the Influence of Kids

Entrepreneurs with a social cause aren't new, but entrepreneurs who are harnessing the influence of kids to spread that social cause are. Forever We, Inc. promotes purposeful play by allowing healthy kids and kids with cancer to share a meaningful conversation about friendship and compassion. Since kids are already using their toys to tell stories and to interpret the world around them, we've come alongside them and said, “Hey, is this important to you? Okay, then let's do something about it together. ” The kids become the ambassador for the brand. Instead of just pretending to take care of their dolls, we allow them to do it in real life. Every purchase allows us to gift one to a child with cancer and give a portion of the proceeds to the organizations funding the best cancer research. Who says kids can't change the world?

Thanks to Chantel Adams, Forever We, Inc.!

14) Help Employees

One of the things we do at eZanga to help out our employees is when we hear that they are pregnant or that their wife is pregnant, we give them the time to go to every doctor's appointment without that affecting their time off. It may not be the best thing for our productivity, but we understand that it is the best thing for family. We don't want our employees to miss out on those key moments. As a family-owned and oriented business, we understand that no matter what, family comes first. It's a motto that we've operated on since the very beginning. We also give our employees with children consideration when it comes to their children being sick, or, as was the case a lot this past winter, when there are school closings or delays. While we don't allow our employees to take an exorbitant amount of time off without it effecting their banked days, we do understand that things happen beyond our control. If they are worried about a home situation, they won't be as focused at work. We want our employees to be relaxed when they come in to work, that way they can easily focus on the task at hand.Something we've done in the past to help home situations for our employees is that we've coached employees suffering from financial problems. We've been there ourselves, my wife and I have been through the worst of it and we came through. It's a lesson that we want to share with the people we work closely with, to help them correct the situation, especially if they're going through the same thing. Again, if your home life is a mess, you can't focus on work. We want to help them in any way that we can so that they can focus on what they need to do from 8 to 5, and not have to worry so much about things later.

Thanks to Rich Kahn, eZanga.com!



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