5 Ways To Scare Your Competition
In business, competition can be ruthless. You want to make sure you come out on top, leading with the highest number of sales, getting the best clients and making sure the best reputation precedes you. Not only do you want to be the best, but you want your customers and your competition to know it.
Here are five ways to get your competitors quaking in their boots.
1 Sell, sell, sell!
It may seem a touch obvious that in order to scare your competition you should sell more of your stuff than they do. But in order to grow your bottom line and then expand your business (very threatening and scary to your competitors) you must invest more of your time and energies in selling your product.
The perfect sales pitch is a technique you will develop over time. Whether you as the business owner are working on a lot of the selling yourself, or if you have a dedicated team, you could think about changing or adding to your existing approaches. For instance, if you currently operate with predominantly outbound sales campaigns, why not grow your departments and try some inbound marketing tactics?
As a business owner, you can’t afford not to be focused on sales. If you are a new business, around 80% of your time should be spend trying to acquire new business and build credibility and reputation for your brand. Without selling more, you won’t get more customers and without more customers, you won’t grow a business.
2 Start competing on price
This is a big no-no in the world of small business. It is the number one thing that SMEs are told not to do: when you reduce the marketing of your product to price and cost, suddenly that becomes all you’re about.
This is why this move will terrify your competition.
It’s so unexpected! If you’re paying attention, you will know your top five or ten competitors in your industry and your local area. You will already know their prices, their existing offers and their marketing tactics. Crucially, you understand that value of what they can offer.
If you are in a position to do so (and if you are thinking about growing your business, the chances are that you are), you should advertise the areas where you are already the cheapest. In another post we discussed that you cannot be the cheapest for everything –otherwise how will you make a living? But there must be services you offer or products you sell that are the cheapest on the market.
Emphasise the value of your offer, not just the cheap price. Make it clear that when your customers buy from you, they are receiving quality at a fair price and it also happens to be the cheapest available. For more about how to compete on price without making the mistake of making it all about price, check out this post.
3 Expand and diversify
Whether this means expanding into foreign markets or diversifying the products and services you sell, offering your customers something different – or offering the same things to different customers – is a great way to grow your market and increase your revenue.
Build a product that complements your existing stock and appeals to your existing customers. It is a way to encourage repeat business, especially if you sell more expensive, long-term items such as leather bags. People are unlikely to buy many of these at once but if you also offer matching purses, leather cleaning and protective products, accessories and so on, you will be able to keep people interested in you for longer.
When it comes to expanding into foreign markets, you have the whole world at your feet. You may reach an earning ceiling by restricting yourself to selling in the UK as your market becomes saturated. Looking into exporting your goods or services abroad enables you to continually tap into new markets.
Whether you are thinking of exporting or diversifying your products and increasing your range, it is likely that you will need to think out a new business plan to help you calculate costs, predict potential risks and forecast growth. The work ahead of you may be hard, but it could ultimately be very rewarding, offering the chance for your business to grow, your profits to increase and you to see your competition to cower from your achievements.
4 Partner up
This isn’t just a case of “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
Look for companies within your industry with whom you are not in direct competition. For instance, if you are a designer specialising in bespoke bedrooms, it would make sense for you to partner with a bedroom furniture specialist. This partnership has the potential to benefit customers and, as a direct result, your businesses.
Choose your partner wisely. If you are looking to grow your business, you don’t want to be aiming too high or too low. Check out your prospects’ social media presence, which can be a good indicator of their place in the industry. Explore their sites and find out if their brand values and target audiences match yours. In order for the partnership to be beneficial, you must complement each other.
Market the partnership: this is the point. By advertising one another on your individual websites, blogs, social media channels, conversations with clients and cross-promoting your services, you will get access to both audiences and customers. Because their existing customers already trust them, you gain credibility and value in their customers’ eyes when they recommend your service – great for business!
Finally, keep your eyes open for more than one partnership – who said it has to be exclusive? As long as you are open about your intentions, you could gain access to more than one wider audience.
Focus your finite budgets on growth and expansion. Rather than struggling to afford your own in-house staff for such back-office activities as accounting or front-office activities such as call answering, why not outsource these tasks to a third party? This will save you both time and money, helping you focus on running and growing your business.
If you are not yet at the stage at which you can afford to aggressively grow your business, then outsourcing your call answering can be a great way to make your company appear larger and more professional. Creating the impression that you can afford a dedicated receptionist team will not only will this impress your customers, it will terrify your competition.