Be careful that uniqueness and service specialization doesn't put you out of business. If you become so specialized or unique there may not be enough customers to support your business. This may seem obvious but many operators seem to be unaware of the basics of marketing and business management.
What do THEY want?
A good example is the complaint of an auto repair shop owner I read on the Automotive Management Network Forums. He expressed his frustration that customers outright rejected his service quality improvements. The shop had attempted to provide a premium quality service in a smaller town. Trouble was that there just weren't enough customers in the area for a shop of that caliber. The local good ol' boys and farmers didn't want it. My heart went out to this guy but the sad fact was that there is a big difference between what he thought people needed and what they wanted. A simple case of the wrong product for the local market.
Get the facts
In an earlier blog posting I wrote about using uniqueness to attract customers. Although providing a service that no one else performs is a powerful business advantage, there is a danger in being too unique. I recommend that business owners ask their customers what they wanted. I also want to point out the mistake of only asking the people who you know will support your plans. Ask EVERYONE for their sincere, honest opinion. Get the facts no matter how disappointing the results.
The 'good' idea
Author Bernard Kamorofff, in his book "Small Time Business Operator", offers these wise words: "Every person who has ever started a business, I imagine, thought he had a good idea. It's the smart person, and the rare person, who tries to find out the most important thing: do other people think it's a good idea?"