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11 Easy How To Deal With The Competition As A Small Business (Simple)

(doylc.com) How To Deal With The Competition As A Small Business - Competition is healthy. It forces you to innovate, keeps you on your toes so you don't get complacent, and encourages you to serve your customers the best you can. With that in mind, it can be frustrating to feel like you're missing out on valuable revenue when you're a small fish in a big pond trying to grow your business. If you want to increase your market share and grow your small business into a big one, read on to find out how you can stay ahead of your competition!

  • Get customer reviews to find your strengths.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

People come to you for a reason, so find out what that reason is. You could ask customers to fill out surveys or questionnaires, or set up a focus group to get a feel for what people like about your company. Also, take a look at your books to see what your top-selling products or services are. Realizing what people like about your business will help you move forward.

Knowing what makes your business special will show you what to focus on and what to forget. For example, if your customers don't care about your guarantees, you don't have to expend energy selling them. If your customers love a specific product, you can focus on a marketing campaign to push it even further!

You should show up regularly.

Do things that can make people trust you.

Try to build a relationship with your customers.

  • Conduct a competitive analysis to find an advantage.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

Ask yourself, "Why would anyone go to you instead of to me? Compare the products and services you offer to those of your competitors. If there's something you don't have, check it out to see if you can match what they offer. Also compare your prices. If there are somewhere ways to cut costs to drive them out, see if you can pull it off. Also check out their ads to see what people identify with. Pay attention to how often they advertise and through which channels.

When it comes to advertising, you may want to borrow elements of your competitor's style, but typically you don't want your materials to look so similar that your customers confuse you.

Look at their online reviews and then compare them to your online reviews. If you notice that your competitor's reviews are all mentioning great service and your reviews say nothing about friendly employees, maybe it's time to retrain your employees!

Sometimes you have no control over what makes your competition attractive to others. If they have a storefront in a great downtown location and you don't, you just have to push them elsewhere.

  • Build your company's moat.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

If you have something your competition can't replicate, fall back on it. Your moat is what your business does, which the competition just can't emulate. If you have one, you should spend some of your leftover earnings widening that moat even further. How to prevent your competition from catching up!

Amazon's moat is their inventory. Where else can you buy books, bikes and gardening tools online? Microsoft's moat is its compatibility - if you buy a Windows PC, you can do anything. Apple's moat is its technology and branding.

If you're doing something your competition can't (or won't) then that's your moat. It can be as simple as excellent service or as unique as a special product that only you can offer.

Not every business will have a moat, but that's okay. There are still many ways you can build a competitive advantage.

  • Fill in any gaps in your products/services.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

There may be something obvious that's holding you back, so look at the bigger picture. If the competition offers free advice and you don't, offering such a service will give potential clients a big reason to consider you. If they open three hours later than you, you may be missing out on a lot of sales. Compare your company's offerings to those of the competition to see if any services or products are missing.

If you offer essentially the same products or services as your competitors, consider whether you could add something to gain a competitive advantage. Even if you just open the store earlier or give a free drink with every purchase of $20 or more, having more to offer will put you ahead in the long run.

  • Create an incentive for returning customers.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

Loyalty programs are a great way to keep customers coming back. Set up a loyalty program where customers get discounts or free upgrades if they buy from you regularly. Punch cards offering “buy 10, get 1 free” can be a solid way to encourage customers to keep coming back. Additionally, encourage your employees to develop a relationship with new customers and recognize existing customers. The more goodwill you can build with your market, the more likely people are to come back.

When you compete with larger companies, this is where you gain the upper hand. Very few customers feel personally valued when they walk into a large store. So if you make them feel truly valued and valued, they will come to you instead!

Loyalty sales and special offers are another great way to build your presence in a community.

  • Minimize turnover and grow your team.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

If you have employees, do your best to nurture their skills. If customers see new employees every time they walk in, they may not be forming a personal relationship with your company, so retaining employees is crucial. Teach your employees to treat customers in a friendly and respectful manner, and reward them for good performance. Do your best to cultivate a caring, professional culture.

It may cost less to hire brand new employees, but it's always best to pay for qualified employees. If you can, pay your workers a competitive, decent wage. If you don't, they may be working for your competition!

If you can retain employees and your competition can't, you will develop a competitive advantage over time.

  • Expand your social media presence.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

See how people interact with your competitors compared to you. Your social media plays a big part in how your customers find and interact with you these days. If you're not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Yelp, now is the time. Set up business accounts and encourage customers to like your page or post reviews. Connect with potential customers in online neighborhood groups and post special offers to attract new customers.

If you run a restaurant, post photos of your delicious food. If you run a clothing store, make fun movies with new outfits as they arrive.

Take a look at how your competition is using social media if you're brand new to it.

The more engagement you can build online, the better. Always reply to people who comment on your posts!

  • Give your branding a new look.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

Your competition may be digging into your market because they "look" newer. If your signage is very dated and your building's color scheme could use some love, now is not the time for an overhaul. Consider hiring a business consultant and graphic designer to do a complete overhaul of your logo and signage if you have some extra cash in your budget. Keep your storefront clean to create a warm, welcoming environment for your customers.

If your competitors have a cool "young and hip" style, you may want to go for a more mature look and vice versa.

A management consultant should cost a few thousand dollars, but you can definitely find some smaller consultants for $100-400. However, you may not need one if you truly believe in your branding and message!

A graphic designer shouldn't cost you more than a few hundred dollars. You can always find a freelancer on sites like Fiverr or Upwork if you really want a deal!

  • Upgrade and Update website for e-commerce.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

When you have an online business, your website is everything. If your website looks like it was created in the 90's and you created your logo in Microsoft Word years ago, hiring a web designer to give your brand an update can really help. A decent web designer costs $500 to $10,000 depending on whether you want minor updates or a major makeover. A good website is key when it comes to attracting customers and maintaining your online presence.

You can always use a template tool or website builder like Squarespace to create a brand new website yourself. If you're visually savvy and not particularly precise when it comes to customizable features.

  • Start a new marketing campaign.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

When business is slow, a new marketing campaign can generate business. Either your competition has advertisements everywhere and you should compete with them, or they don't advertise and you can gain an advantage by taking the initiative. If possible, hire a marketing firm to put together a tight, cohesive campaign for you. Join your local business associations and consider sponsoring a local team to build brand awareness in the area.

Guerrilla marketing is great if you have a really small business. Walk around the neighborhood putting up posters in local cafes to spread the word!

Newspaper and radio ads are great if you want to reach an older demographic in your area.

Billboards are a great way to make a statement if you're looking to attract drivers to the area.

Online ads are ideal if you run an online store. You can even advertise for free just by posting on social media!

A marketing firm should charge $2,000 to $4,000 depending on how big you want to get. However, you can always hire an independent marketing consultant or just do it yourself to save some money.

Keep in mind that innovative products and services require more marketing support as there is a higher need for education and awareness compared to ordinary goods and services.

  • Collaborate with the competition.

11 Simple Ways to Deal with Competition As a Small Business

Contact your main competitor and see if you can join forces. This won't always work depending on what business you're in and what your competitors are doing, but it's always better to work with people than against them. When you find a way to build a working relationship, either by sponsoring something together or by referring clients for specific products or services, you can both thrive!

For example, if you run an auto repair shop and specialize in auto body work, check with your competition to see if they refer people to you for restorations, as long as you refer people to them for smaller details.

If you run an upscale fashion boutique, contact the thrift store across the street to see if you can work together to sponsor a fashion show.

By working with the competition, you'll gain insight into their technology and capabilities. This can be extraordinarily helpful if you're not sure why you're so successful.

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