In life, there’s a saying that goes something like “keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer”. While some choose not to do this, entrepreneurs should keep this saying true to their hearts. In a competitive business world, knowing where your competitors are succeeding and where they’re failing is essential. If you’re not sure where to put your focus in a competitive market, here’s a list of 6 tips that can help guide you in the right direction.
#1: Know Their Strengths and Identify Yours
Take a step back and start reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. If they are great at marketing and have horrible customer satisfaction ratings, you can see that they spend a lot of money on marketing and overlook the importance of customer retention. Once you know their strengths, you have yours. Can you improve your marketing campaigns without letting customer service suffer? By improving upon what the competition is doing right, you can make your brand stand out.
#2: Look at the Message You’re Sending
Your brand needs to be unique. If you are sending the same message as the business right down the street, there’s nothing to separate each brand but pricing. Your brand should communicate a value that another doesn’t. See what the competition is focusing on and then decide what you can focus on that differentiates your brand.
#3: Make Sure You’re Sharing the Load
You can’t be an expert in everything that you do. While you strive to do your best, it’s best for your business if you learn how to share the load. If you’re not an expert in accounting, IT, HR, or bookkeeping, pass the responsibility on to an expert. This gives you more time to focus on branding, expanding, and maintaining your reputation.
#4: Make Sure to Spend Wisely
In an effort to compete against larger brands, it might be tempting to increase your spending to gain more market share. Make sure that you’re spending wisely and not just spending to keep up. Learn where you can keep costs down and where you’ll need to increase spending to achieve your goals. If you can find a good balance, you’ll strengthen the brand without building your debt.
#5: Don’t Skimp on Quality
In an effort to compete and expand, some entrepreneurs end up letting the quality of their product or their service suffer. Don’t be one of those companies that is known for quality and then watches your reputation diminish as you grow.
#6: Let Your Customers Know You’re Thinking About Them
Keep track of what your customers have to say about you and the competition. You can give your customers a personalized coffee mugs during the holidays to show your appreciation and also include a card that asks how you can improve your service for them. It’s important to listen to what they have to say because their opinions matter. If you hear common complaints, keep these in mind and address the issues.
There are ways to expand and improve your business, but don’t ignore what you can learn from the competition. Find out what’s working and what’s not, and then use what you’ve learned to profit.