One of your biggest risks, when you have a business to run, is the competition. Those other businesses, near or far, online or built in bricks and mortar, who are competing in the same market, for the same pool of customers as you.
Today we’re looking at different ways you can cope with the competition and thrive despite them!
When you’re devising your competitor strategy you need to know who your competitors are. If you’re being encroached on by a huge online retailer like Amazon, then you need a very different response to dealing with a new shop opening across town.
You may need to engage in some market research to generate a full list – in the digital age, only direct physical services like hairdressing are immune from online competition.
Identify Your Strengths
The next thing you can do is identify the strengths of your business: what are the unique things that make your customers choose you over other options? Whether it’s the high quality of your products, a great reputation for personal service or local knowledge that large businesses simply cannot replicate, it’s important to know what brings people to your door.
Compare your strengths with the competitors that you’ve identified and try to match your strengths to their weaknesses. If the other shop vying for your customers advertises itself as high-end and luxurious, think about whether you can beat them on those terms or if it would be more successful to present yourself as a value proposition, and offer customers something they simply aren’t getting in the local market. Working with a growth consultancy can help crystallise these ideas and show you how they can scale.
One of the most important ways to co-exist with the competition is to schedule wisely. If you launch a new product at the same time as your main rival, or start advertising a big sale at the same time as the shop across the street, you force your customers to choose between you – and each penny you spend on marketing in this period gets you less and less as it’s competing directly with other advertising, driving up prices and splitting customers’ attention.
A good competitor insight consultant can help you identify windows your competitors are likely to be scheduling their big pushes and help you find the white space you need for your own campaigns to thrive. You don’t need to dominate in order to co-exist with your competitors. In many cases the market can sustain both of you, as long as judicious scheduling gives you both some breathing room.