As a small to mid-sized business, dealing with competitors can be tough. But your approach to dealing with competition can determine whether your business fades into the background and loses profit, or is set far ahead of others in your field.
Are you a “Me Too” business?
If you are, you shouldn’t be. A “Me Too” business is one that doesn’t have anything that sets them apart from their competition. They devote their focus to keeping up with other in their industry, and seek to emulate their tactics rather than offering something original. As a result, the only thing they can do to compete in their market is drop their pricing, making their profit margins grow increasingly smaller.
If you think you might be guilty of being a “Me Too” business, don’t worry! You don’t have to be! Instead of following the crowd, why not to be different? Spend some time developing a few unique selling points for your business.
Strategies for setting yourself apart
- Network. Make a point to attend a certain amount of events per month with the intention of forming connections with other businesses. Even if you are unsure if someone could turn into a client, talk to them anyways — chances are, they have contacts and friends in the same industry who might turn into a great lead.
- Offer a service/product that is unique, but easy to understand. If you work in a technical field, clients may have a difficult time comparing one business’s services to another, or understanding differences in pricing. Offering a package that is unique and easy to understand can de-stress a potential client and ultimately earn their business.
- Have excellent customer service. If you haven’t heard the Nordstrom “tire story”, you have at least heard about the retailer’s reputation for outstanding customer service, which has made them a major contender in their industry for years. Incorporating great customer service at every level of your operations can build you a good reputation. Customers who know they can expect great service from your business are more likely to choose you.
- Establish yourself as an expert in your field. Offer advice or answer common questions your customers might have via a blog, FAQ section, or even downloadable PDFs. If a customer is looking to you for information on a certain subject (and is able to find it), they are more likely to approach your business when they need your particular service.
- Have personality. If you are the type of company that celebrates National Poetry Month and likes to talk about your dogs, embrace it! Don’t be afraid to have a little personality! Not only will this give you a way to set yourself apart from your competition — it will reinforce your brand image as well.
Don’t get caught up in the downward spiral of being a “Me Too” business. Create unique content and have selling points that make your business one that potential clients will want to approach.