Source: Business Partners Limited
As with any business enterprise, competition is part of the field of play however as a business owner, an aggressive new competitor looking to undercut you can have a major impact on your business. If you know you offer a high-quality service or product, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about – however, it’s always good to have a strategy in place for responding to direct competitors who might be creeping up on your market share and threatening your visibility.
Here are eight simple tips to help you compete with new industry players and stay ahead of the game:
- Learn from your competitor – Consider your competition (both existing and new) as a challenge to help improve your business. Take note of what they might be doing well that is getting them noticed, and take your cues from them when reassessing some of your marketing tactics, service offering or customer service strategy.
- Focus on your USP – Your business’ unique selling point (USP) is what makes you stand out from the crowd – whether you are the most affordable in your category, the most reliable, or the fastest when it comes to service delivery. Focus on differentiating yourself and becoming the best within your niche as this is what will ultimately help your customers to choose you over your competitors.
- Stay ahead of the curve – It’s important to maintain an innovative mindset to avoid becoming complacent about your business positioning. Look at what you can improve and stay on top of industry trends so that you don’t get left behind. Ask yourself if your business offering is still satisfying an existing need or want in the market, or is it at risk of becoming redundant.
- Monitor your industry – It helps to know who your competitors are at any given time. Check-in regularly on the market so you can catch wind of any new competitors as early as possible – set up Google Alerts, for example, or make it a performance target for your junior staff to send you updates every week.
- Do good work, always – When it comes to warding off the competition, it’s crucial that your work speaks for itself. Ensure you are consistently delivering high-quality goods or services, paired with excellent customer service; in this way, you will keep getting return customers and have less to fear when other businesses try to come for your target audience with a similar offering.
- Look at ways to improve – Turn a negative into a positive by looking at ways to add to your business offering. Consider what might need changing when it comes to internal processes, or if you should be going after new audiences, for instance. If your business tactics are getting outdated, this may require some out-of-the-box thinking to get you back on top and stay relevant in an ever-changing environment.
- Tell your story better – Rally your efforts when it comes to marketing what your business does well. Consider fast-tracking marketing plans you might have had in the pipeline, and doubling your efforts when it comes to telling your story; whether it’s through better signage, sharing client testimonials on social media, or communicating your recent successes via a newsletter or social media posts.
- Partnership opportunities – Rather than feeling affronted, take the time to consider which competitors might be a good match to partner with. Look for differing strengths that make the two businesses compatible – you may have a fantastic product, but they have better access to certain clients. This may mean you are a perfect match for cross-promotional activities – just remember, it has to be a win-win for both parties involved.
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