Feature, Operations, Sales & Marketing, V6I1

What’s Your Unique Selling Proposition?

Customization is a unique selling proposition shed builders can offer.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Definition: The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition —Entrepreneur.com

As a shed professional, you like to think you have the best product out there. After all, doesn’t every parent think their child is the best T-ball player? Doesn’t every dog owner think they have a well-behaved pet? And don’t creators of every stripe think they make the most absorbing artwork? We take pride in our work, and rightly so. 

Maybe you space your rafters closer together than the guy across the road. But the truth is, there’s nothing new under the sun and a shed is a shed is a shed. 

When it comes down to it, “There’s not a lot of difference in the structure,” says Wesley Weaver, co-owner of Golden State Buildings in Sanger, California.

If that’s so, if everyone’s building a quality structure like all the plumbers in town can fix your toilet, then what is your unique selling proposition? What sets your business apart from the competition?


Some shed companies crank out buildings, cookie-cutter style, and never take orders for anything different. Others offer whatever they can to please the customer. Offering options is a way Golden State Buildings sets themselves apart from their competitors. 

“We offer customization,” says Weaver. “Most of our sales are made to order. It’s like Starbucks coffee. Everyone wants it a little different.” 

Colors of paint, types of siding and roofing, style of windows and doors, lofts, shelving, and even porches are a few customizations shed builders across the country offer. 


California shed builders have to follow more stringent codes than those in other regions. Every structure in the state over 120 square feet requires a building permit. And, according to Weaver, each city and county has different regulations, too. 

Researching the requirements and filling out all the necessary paperwork just to get a shed put in the backyard overwhelms most homeowners. Golden State Buildings does it for them.

“Some companies don’t offer that complete package,” says Weaver. Offering it makes Golden State stand out.

A building package can include many different things. In addition to customization, offer delivery and setup, foundation or pad construction, or even landscaping. 

When a customer has to do the math—building, plus delivery and set-up, plus permits, plus upgrades, plus landscaping—they get overwhelmed. But when the company offers a complete, turn-key package, the customer experience is less stressful.


“We have noticed an increase in leads from social media,” says Weaver, “particularly Facebook.”

Hopefully, when you built your sales lot you chose property along a well-traveled highway. To be seen, you went where the customers go. The same rule applies to your online presence.

According to Statista, a German online portal that aggregates data collected by market and opinion research institutes, 79 percent of the U.S. population uses social media and spends over two hours there daily. Facebook is the most popular platform with a projected 223.2 million users in 2023.

Social media is your online coffee shop, the perfect place to interact with customers, answering questions and building relationships, before they ever visit the lot.


In some areas of the United States, the competition among shed builders is fierce. So much so, some don’t want to talk about what works for them. They’re afraid the guy across the road will steal their secrets. 

The truth is, one shed builder said, there’s no secret sauce of doing good business.

“A rising tide lifts all ships,” says Eli Beachy, developer of the Shed Hauler App and former marketing and salesperson with Willow Lake Buildings in South Carolina about competition and the importance of shed builders working together. “When an industry improves, we all improve. And the better each business gets, the faster bad businesses will be exposed.” 

In other words, those that work together grow and prosper. And those who don’t, won’t.

“You want to give your customer an experience so different,” says Bryan Kaplan founder of Construction Consulting in Toronto, Canada, “that they aren’t even thinking about the competition.”


Everyone can build a superior product by using premium siding, spacing rafters closer together, or lapping the corners of the top sill. So, what makes dealing with your company different from the one across the street? 

The answer to that question is your unique selling proposition.

“The difference is in the customer service, the experience, and giving the customer what they want,” says Weaver.

Of course, this experience begins with integrity. 

“You can’t lie to your customers,” says one shed builder. “They’ll find you out.”

“It’s all about the Golden Rule,” adds another.

Keeping a clean lot, offering coffee or refreshments to shoppers, providing a golf cart on large lots, and listening to the customer’s needs are things different companies do to better serve their customers. 

But according to Kaplan, to create a customer experience that truly stands out from the competition, you need systems.


If you systemize everything in your business, you get a repeatable response.


“It’s like McDonald’s,” Kaplan says. “You go to McDonald’s anywhere in the world, and it’s the same. The sandwich is made the same and tastes the same whether you’re here or in another country.” 

When you have systems, not only does the customer know what to expect, but the employees do, too. And when the employees follow the systems, no one’s order falls through the cracks.

Kaplan starts the system ball rolling before the customer walks on the lot. 


“Start with your client acquisition funnel,” he says, “how you acquire leads and bring them from total stranger to raving fan needs a system.” 

Then, continue with systems for everything necessary to run a business—accounting, marketing, project management, manufacturing, all of it.

The right software can track everything from customer relationship management (CRM) and material requirements planning (MRP) to inventory management, driver logs, and order creation and tracking. (Photo courtesy of Merve Toprak/FreeImages.com)


The easiest way to implement these systems and keep them running smoothly is with software like Shed Hauler App, The Shed App, Shed Suite, and Flowlens. These programs track everything from customer relationship management (CRM) and material requirements planning (MRP) to inventory management, driver logs, and order creation and tracking.

“If you’re producing sheds in any volume,” says Beachy, “and not using computer software to track it, you’re just wasting your time.”

He says to think of the software as a digital piece of paper that follows the job from the first contact to delivery and beyond. Anyone with access can check the status of a job at any point in the process. 

Sales can give updates to the customer: “Fred’s painting your building today. He loves that shade of blue you chose. Said he wants to use it on his own garage. Hope you’re ready. Tom will be there in three days!” 

Delivery can see how many orders they have for a given day and how far they need to travel: “Hey babe, I’ll be late for dinner on Thursday. I have five buildings to set up a hundred miles from home.”

Marketing can see where the best leads come from, which ones convert, and where to focus ad campaigns. And after the job is complete, the software reminds sales to contact the customer one last time to make sure they’re happy and ask for a Google review.


According to Retail Dive, as much as 87 percent of shoppers begin their research online, and part of that research is reading reviews. If your business isn’t represented on Google, you’re missing out on that traffic. 

Imagine your shed business on a billboard along the busiest highway in the world, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. That’s what Google My Business, a free tool for managing how your business appears on Google search and maps, does for you. 

Once you set up your Google My Business profile, you can start soliciting reviews from customers.

“We live in a review culture, for better or for worse,” says Beachy. “If you have 50 five-star reviews, customers come to you with a much different mentality than if you have none.”

To get those reviews, you need a system in place to make that happen. After the shed is delivered, follow up with a phone call and ask the customer to leave a review. You may have to walk them through the steps and remind them in another couple weeks. 

Since the ethics of offering incentives for reviews is questionable, offer incentives to your employees for securing those reviews. One company gives a free lunch to its delivery team members for every review they get.

So, what makes your company different from the one across the street? When you build a better shed, offer your customers a cup of coffee or interact with them on Facebook, and have systems in place for every step of the process, all those things make you stand out. All those things make up your unique selling proposition.



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