Competition is good for business. Honestly, it is. So don’t fear it; embrace it and learn from it. Analyzing and learning from them will benefit you in so many ways.
To truly understand how much you can learn from your competitors, firstly let’s divide them into direct and indirect.
Direct competitors are those that provide the exact same service as you or sell the same product/s. They are almost a mirror image of your business. The reason they are helpful to you is that they will encourage you to find ways to truly stand out.
One of the ways to do that is to focus on the one thing they certainly don’t have – YOU! There is only one of you and that’s a very unique selling point.
You are what sets your business apart from others – you have the personality and character to show potential customers why they should choose your company above others. So be sure to market yourself to your customers.
If you work with a team, be sure to highlight what makes them so special as individuals and as a team. Perhaps share images of a staff lunch or a day out you all enjoyed. Showing yourself as a caring and well-liked boss is important to potential clients. If your staff loves you, it’s pretty certain that they will too!
Indirect companies offer a similar service or product but not exact. They too can provide you with fascinating and helpful insights that you may not have considered using in certain elements of your business.
Look at how your competitors advertise – what do you like about their adverts and marketing? What doesn’t appeal? Can you incorporate some of their ideas into your own company? Not exact copying – just tips and tricks that may enhance what you already do.
Take a look at their websites – what stands out and what looks unprofessional? If you were a potential client, would you book with them and why? Was their website easy to use and did it properly explain the services they provide or they products they sell? Would it be easy to buy online using their system or did it strike you as over complicated? Can you learn anything from the design, wording and images that they have chosen?
If you know that a rival company could do the job better for a potential client, show integrity by recommending them. People will remember your honesty and desire to provide them with exactly what they need – and you may be rewarded with a referral from the very person you sent to a competitor. And if that competitor learns what you did for them, they may respond in kind in the future by sending someone your way.
Have your competitors incorporated an environmentally friendly aspect to their services? Have you? In this day and age, clients are always looking for conscientious companies that consider the planet. Be sure to mention any local and community projects that you support too – it shows you care and clients like seeing that caring, sharing side of a business.
What have your competitors focused on that you perhaps haven’t considered? These points of difference can really help you to further understand the market and can help you to increase your client base.
Do they offer promotions, competitions, referral schemes or loyalty rewards? If so, perhaps you can come up with your own unique way to say thank you to repeat customers or those that refer you to others.
So don’t see competition as a concern – it shows that there is a need for your type of business and service and that’s always a good thing.
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