I’ve read many articles about small businesses using new techniques to attract new clients or customers.  Some of these techniques are relatively simple, but produce a significant boost to the business.  A simple innovation in your business can help distinguish your products and services from those of your competitors.

Here’s an example of a local restaurant in my town that’s offering a new service to expand its sales.  The restaurant is a family-style restaurant that, until recently, did not offer a carry-out service.  At the request of many customers, the restaurant is now offering its food for take-out.  Since the restaurant doesn’t have a drive-up window (and the building cannot be easily modified to add one), customers must park in front of the building to pick up their order.

However, instead of going inside to get the order, a restaurant employee brings the order out to the customer’s car.  The restaurant has two designated parking spaces for people picking up carry-out orders. You may be thinking “so what”, that’s not new. But, in my town, there are only a few “dine in” restaurants offering to bring the order to your car – so it is unusual in this market. Personally, I am more likely to order carry-out meals from this restaurant because of the added convenience.

Small business owners can distinguish themselves and gain new customers by looking for ways to offer new services or improve their existing services in a way that benefits customers.