You may have heard that question at some point when you were building your business or starting up. USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. 

In very simple terms, why should I buy from you versus anyone else?  What makes you different? Unique?

After presenting the “ ABC’s of Starting a Business workshop” for years, presented by SCORE Greater Phoenix, it is evident how many people do not have a clear focus on what their business is and who problems they solve and to whom are they solving those problems for. We hear extra filler junk, such as. “I am like the UBER of XXX.” So, what I heard is that you have a billion-dollar valuation, are in the debt over a billion dollars and have not been profitable and probably will never be profitable. Not good.

So how can you create your own very compelling USP?

Simple. Follow this simple formula and create your own USP. Think of it as your elevator pitch.

First, write down your target marketing Now you may have more than one, but not more than three. Why? Because if your message is trying to be everything to everyone, no one cares, and no one wants to hear it. They want someone to solve their problems-not the world’s. Be specific on who your market is. If it’s dentists, then what kind of dentist? Orthodontist? Periodontist? General? Oral? Etc. 

Be specific. “My company works with orthodontists.”

Next, write down at least 25 problems your target customer has, then write down 10 more. This will really help in your business down the road. Identify the top 3 problems your target market has based on your list. How do you know what the top 3 problems are? Hopefully, you know why your customers are doing business with you. If not, ask them what problems/challenges your product/service solves for them.  If you don’t have customers yet, then meet with a mentor to have them help you find those top 3 challenges. You also may know what 3 challenges you want to solve for your customers-but it must be in alignment with THEIR needs.  I.E. Orthodontists problems are; patients not showing up for appointments, potential clients not having insurance to get braces (cost) and finding good staff. 

Now write down at least one solution to each one of the problems you outlined in the last step. Be specific. Using our dentist as an example; send out email, text and voice mail reminders for the appointment, providing another insurance solution if they don’t have insurance, use a systematic process to hire great staff.

Let’s put your USP all together. 

“My company works with elite orthodontists who have challenges obtaining new patients and attracting high level staff. We help them develop acquisition and retention strategies to build their practice and their team.”

You may be thinking, how did I get that USP from the exercise. It’s simple. THEIR problem is getting new patients in because they don’t have insurance, keeping patients and getting new staff. The USP says that in a language that is speaking to the orthodontist-not to anyone else. Now, if another type of dentist heard this, would they want to know more from you? Absolutely. You can alter your USP to your market. 

I.E. “My company works with elite dentists who have challenges obtaining new patients and attracting high level staff. We help them develop acquisition and retention strategies to build their practice and their team.”

See how that works. You must speak to your audience. It’s NOT about you. It’s about who you serve, what are their problems and how are you solving them. 

Stop being the Uber, Apple, Tesla, Google, or whatever other company you want to compare yourself to. They have their USP. Here are a few.

  • Uber: Ride when you want, where you want
  • Apple:  We provide a lifestyle with our products
  • FedEx: When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight
  • Coke: The real thing
  • Google: Access the world from your fingertips

You are NOT them. They have established themselves in the market, you are working on establishing yourself.

Speak to your audience, be unique, be you. They do not have to define their market; it has already been defined.

Create your USP today.  Be clear.

This Blog is provided by SCORE  Greater Phoenix, Steve Feld a SCORE Certified Mentor.  

 SCORE provides free one-on-one mentoring for entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as free or low-cost workshops for small businesses in the Phoenix area throughout the year.  Visit for information or contact Joyce Keane, Chapter Vice-Chair at [email protected].