In fast-moving markets, where customers often shop around, business competition can be fierce. These ten ideas will help you build your competitive advantage and defend your market position.
1. Be aware of your competition.
Investigate your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, what they are offering, and what they are offering. Then you can identify the areas where you need to compete, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
What can you learn from other businesses that are performing better than you? To make the most of an opportunity where competition is weaker, what should you do?
2. Understand your customers.
As a business owner, you need to understand what your customers (and potential customers) value if you want to attract and retain them.
It is possible for customer expectations to change dramatically. Do your customers value a lower price, premium service, or the latest products?
You can gain a better understanding of what types of customers will find your offer most appealing by using what you know about your existing customers. Your target market and the market segments where you are most competitive will be defined in this way.
3. Make sure all your information is in one place.
You can join your sales and marketing data with other records, such as accounts, stock-keeping, and deliveries, with dedicated CRM systems. In this way, you’ll know everything about a customer’s dealings with you, whether they’ve received their goods on time or if they’re late with their payments – making communication and service more efficient and personalised.
CRM software for your business depends on what your specific needs are. Depending on your business, you might focus on generating qualified sales leads or building relationships with your most valuable customers. When managing a large number of contacts, more sophisticated packages offer advanced analysis and automation tools.
4. Set yourself apart.
Providing your customers with compelling reasons to choose you over your competitors is essential. Create a unique selling point (USP) that speaks to what customers want. No one should have to ask what makes you different – it should be obvious.
Promoting your business is easier if you differentiate yourself from the competition. Rather than competing on price, you can win customers with what you offer.
5. Take your marketing to the next level.
Tell people who you are, what you sell, and why they should buy from you. From leaflet drops to social media campaigns, cost-effective promotional ideas are available.
Make sure you consistently communicate the same key messages to your target customers in a sustained marketing campaign. By doing so, you help customers to understand what you can offer and how you differ from your competition. When customers are ready to make a purchase, your marketing makes it more likely that they will see it or remember you.
6. Make sure your image is updated.
A simple step such as painting the front of your business can make it look more modern and inviting. Consider your business cards, social media presence, website, branded packaging, etc. Is your image a reflection of your USP?
As your customers change what they want and your competitors improve, your image can easily become outdated. Does your business feel fresh and exciting, or is it becoming stale? Is your image still a reflection of how you want customers to view you?
7. Look after your existing customers.
Taking loyal customers for granted can be easy, but they are your competitors’ target market. Provide your customers with no reason to look for alternative suppliers.
Enhance customer service by responding to their needs and expectations. Consider offering low-cost extras such as improved credit terms, discounts, or loyalty programs. Keeping existing customers is easier and cheaper than finding new ones.
8. Expand your market.
Expanding into new markets can increase your customer base and spread your risk. Do you have other potential customers who are similar to your current target market? Is it possible to reach a wider audience by selling online or overseas?
Make sure your offer is tailored to each segment of the market. Don’t assume that what works for your current customers is necessarily the right approach. Discover what different groups of customers really want, what the competition is currently offering, and how you can win their business.
9. You should be the most effective employer you can be.
A vibrant, growing business relies on skilled, motivated employees. Paying a competitive wage isn’t enough to attract them. Flexibility and structured career development are often more appealing to people than a positive working atmosphere.
Customers are more likely to be satisfied when employees are motivated. Positive attitudes towards the business are more likely to be appreciated by customers.
10. Be future-oriented.
Growth-oriented businesses are more successful than those that stand still. Follow consumer trends, invest in the latest technology, and keep up with developments in your sector. Consider where you want to be in one, three, and five years.
Competitors will continue to improve what they offer as other businesses do as well. In order to stay ahead of your competition, you must do the same.