Times have definitely changed!
Today, found a small business and conquer a market It can look a lot like a fierce medieval battle where your business and your competitors fight to win territory.
The eagerness to attract new customers, satisfy their demands and make them buy from you again and again, seems like a life and death challenge where many times it is not the strongest competitor, but the fastest one.
In the long run only a few manage to beat their competition and get ahead in this demanding and aggressive business world.
So to survive, there are some principles that you must know and apply strategically:
The Client Has Changed
If there is something we must recognize, it is that consumers are becoming more demanding and better informed.
Thanks to the Internet, our customers today have the ability to investigate about our products and our companies long before they even want to set foot in our store.
Today’s customers use modern means of payment such as PayPal, bitcoins or electronic payments.
They access different credit options, consider the purchase of imported products through the web, compare prices, search the Internet and handle a series of competitive factors that we need to know and control to be their favorite option.
Here are some tips to fine-tune your strategy and beat your competition. Some of these techniques will help you be No. 1 in your business segment and have more customers and more sales than anyone else:
- Identify your competitors. Make sure you know who you are competition. Not everyone who sells products or services similar to yours is your competitor. Investigate them, place them, make some calls and a secret visit and you will discover: what they do, how they do it and what are their strengths and weaknesses.
Ancient warriors knew that battles are more easily won when you know your adversary well. These are 30 things you should know about your competition, no excuses.
- Conquer new markets. If you already have an established customer database that you work well with, don’t settle. Develop a plan to explore and conquer new markets.
Reward your loyal customers for recommending your company and soon you will expand your kingdom and your sales will increase. Even social networks today provide you with powerful tools to attract new, highly qualified clients with common interests.
- Make sure you offer the best customer service in the world. Not all battles are won with prices. In fact, the strategy of lowering prices only works when you do not offer true value for your products or services.
It is proven that many battles are won with excellent customer service. If you have 10 competitors, you must make sure that your company offers exceptional service. This will become a fortress that few can easily overcome.
Fast shipping, home delivery, added value, prompt and personalized attention are the basis of success.
- Position your business with competitive advantages. VCU stands for Unique Competitive Advantage and talks about identifying those qualities that you offer that are unique or that stand out over what the competition offers. What do you offer that others do not? What do you do better? Those are your competitive advantages.
A VCU can be free delivery, home delivery, it could be something like a website for online shopping, or a single product line. Whatever it is, take advantage of it and exploit it to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Create more sales channels. Your products can reach your customers through different channels and not only through traditional systems. For example: through retail distributors, network marketing, stores, e-commerce, etc.
Get advice and look for new distribution channels for your business and thus increase the impact to reach more consumers.
- Be a problem solver. The biggest businesses of the world base their success on a single premise: “solve the problems of their customers”.
If you learn to offer solutions instead of just products, then your customers will come to you regardless of price. People, all over the world, need solutions to their daily problems and if you know how to turn your product into a solution, then you have in your hand the best marketing tool that exists.
What do your products solve? How do you improve the lives of your clients thanks to your services?
- Know your clients. Definitely. To sell more and better you need to know the customer. What are your likes, preferences, needs, interests? Identify them by conducting market studies that allow you to know their opinions and thus optimize your services day by day.
Take occasional surveys and you will discover interesting factors that will help you multiply your income.
- Create a website for your company. In the 21st century it is said that a company exists if it exists and is visible on the web. More and more clients will look for you on the web or on facebook.
That is why it is important to implement a web positioning and social media presence strategy so that your customers find you. Make sure you have an optimized website and content plan for your social networks.
Your customers will be delighted and this in turn can be a advantage over your competition.
- Leadership. Never compare yourself to your competitors. A serious mistake of many companies is compare yourself with your competition. In fact, your salespeople often say things like “our product is better than XYZ company because …” Big mistake!
Never mention your competition, in fact you must maintain a position in front of the client of “they do not exist”. Why? Simply because you are the leader and you are convinced of it. So you’re not busy constantly mentioning the other “competitors”.
Or have you ever heard “Ricky Martin” talk about “Enrique Iglesias” or “Messi” talk about “Cristiano Ronaldo”. And if perhaps they do, it will only be to acknowledge that they are in the game.
- Don’t fall into the game of lowering prices. When you have strong competitors it is very tempting to be part of the game of lowering prices. But this is only for non-creative entrepreneurs.
It’s a proven fact that you can compete smartly without necessarily lowering your prices and wiping out your profits. A good promotion and advertising strategy, exceptional service, added value and a lot of creativity can be less expensive than lowering your prices to the floor.
Another good way to counterbalance is to create aggressive (but temporary) offers that attract the attention of your customers but that does not necessarily mean a permanent price reduction. How much do you think Coca Cola has dropped in price in the last 20 years? Nothing or almost nothing! In fact, I would dare to think that it has risen in price.
So now you know, you choose what position you play in this battle. Either you are the business leader who sets the pace and determines the course or you are the competitor who fights back and struggles to survive.
The key, as I have said in countless posts is creativity and innovation. Without them, companies are doomed to mediocrity. I share this phrase that has always kept me alert:
“I am not so afraid of competition, as of my own incompetence” (anonymous) [twitéalo]