You’ve recently opened shop a couple of months ago and so far things have been going well. Your business is the only one of its kind around so it didn’t take you too long to start growing. After two years, business is booming and you’ve managed to have built a great reputation with your customers. But then, another business opens up nearby and you quickly realize that it’s in the same industry as yours. This new business, however, is much bigger than yours and has greater brand recognition than yours too. What’s more, it offers the same products and services as yours at a more affordable price with better marketing.
You’re now competing against a giant with more tools and resources to reach more customers than your business ever could. What do you do? For many owners, this is one of many questions that keep them up at night for a reason. Knowing how to tackle business competition can be rough especially when you’re competing against a bigger business than yours. On the plus side, it could also be the perfect opportunity for you to try new creative methods that could improve your business. While there are many approaches small business owners can take to accomplish this, knowing where to start can be puzzling. To help, here’s a list of 5 ways that owners like yourself can learn how to tackle business competition.
When it comes to knowing how to tackle business competition, there’s no better place to start than your customer service. One leverage that small businesses typically have over bigger companies is their ability to deliver personalized customer service. Many big businesses automate their customer service which while efficient, can make some people feel alienated. By having personalized good customer service, you create a connection that could encourage more customers to continue doing business with you. In fact, studies show that customers are more likely to spend a little extra for a product if they receive great customer service in return. Take advantage of what your competitor is not doing by being as proficient, helpful and friendly as possible. Doing so could help your business create a fan base of customers loyal only to you. Learn more here.
Analyze The Competition
If you want to stay ahead of the curve in any industry, you have to know your competitors. One of the ways you can do this is by conducting a SWOT analysis. By conducting a SWOT analysis, you can find out what makes your business different from your competitors. You could research your competitor’s sales, products, website, etc to find out their strengths or weaknesses. You could also use this opportunity to analyze some of your own weaknesses and use what’s working for them for yourself. You’ll also need to develop your own unique competitive advantage to separate you from the competition in the eyes of your customer. To do this, take the time to brainstorm what your competitive differentiators are and incorporate them into a new marketing strategy. When it comes to researching the competition, there’s no limit to what you can do.
The ability to be innovative is key when it comes to the long term success of any organization. Innovation helps keep businesses on their toes by capitalizing on new opportunities and staying relevant. Don’t let the success of one product or strategy keep you from finding new ways to do better. Compare your business’s products, service, website, etc with that of your competitors and other businesses in your niche for ideas. If you like, you can even get your customer’s and employee’s input by having them complete surveys or answer questionnaires. Things like, finding good suppliers with better rates or using new technologies to streamline a service are great examples of innovative ideas. Always remember that no matter how well your business is doing, there’s always somebody that’s doing something better than you.
Choose Your Key Market
It’s not always a good idea to cast your net far and wide when it comes to marketing your business. Sometimes it’s better to find a niche in your industry and stick with it. Big businesses may be able to reach far more people but they don’t always have something for everybody. Some customers have trouble finding specific goods or services that meet their needs. You can take advantage of this gap by offering specialized products or services to a specific target group. Your reach might be smaller but your business would be positioned as a top player in that niche. Become an expert in this niche and invest in marketing efforts that will allow you to reach more people interested in this niche. This will allow you to form a following of potential repeat customers whom you can use as referrals for your business.
Build Your Brand
Your brand is like a billboard that advertises your business values, message, and identity. This is why having a brand is a very important investment you should have for your business even if it’s not big. To start, take advantage of your expertise by creating quality content that will appeal to your target audience. You can write blogs, create special offers or provide informative resources that will solve common issues that your customers may have. Be active in your niche by going to network events and tradeshows to generate buzz around your business. Creating content and going to events are two effective ways of positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. By being a thought leader, you now have the platform to be a voice for your brand and create a following in your community and online through social media. Find more ideas here.
These are just some of the few ways owners can learn how to tackle business competition. Being in competition with another business can be an uphill battle especially if that other business is a large company. When the going gets tough, experiment by trying new strategies and taking calculated risks to find new ways to improve. However, be mindful of your limitations as there’s always the possibility that your business may not be successful. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. Know your strengths and take advantage of new opportunities so that your business may have a chance to prosper.