About 50 percent of all new businesses fail within five years. There are many reasons behind this alarming failure rate, but one of the biggest is strong market competition.
As an entrepreneur, you know only too well that competition is part of the game. Unfortunately, sometimes fierce competition can bring your business to its knees. Your business might be unable to attract new customers because your competitor has a stronger market presence.
There are only two ways to solve this: stay away from the competitive market or take your competitors head-on!
Did you just say you’re ready for a fight? Great!
Here’s how to beat the competition.
1. Research the Market
In battle, you must not only study your opponent’s tactics, but also the condition or terrain of the battleground. This way, you’ll equip yourself appropriately.
The same goes for starting a business.
Before setting up a new enterprise, you must research the market and understand its dynamics. Besides identifying the various businesses you’ll be competing with, investigate the demand and supply of the product or service you’re planning to offer. What about the consumer’s purchasing power?
When you have an in-depth understanding of the market you want to enter, it’s easier to set up your business for success. You’ll also know how to price your product competitively.
2. Offer a Superior Product or Service
One of the most effective ways to beat your competitors is to offer a product or service that’s far superior to theirs. Once customers lay their hands on it and establish that it’s the best option in the market, they will easily switch over to your brand – and tag their friends along!
The question is: how do you ensure your product is of superior quality?
It’s all about research and development. Before embarking on creating your product, ensure you have an intricate grasp of your target consumer. The more you know about the nature of the problem your product will solve, the greater your chances of making a product that solves this problem efficiently.
Another important factor to consider is quality.
One of the reasons Apple’s products constantly trump competitors is they have a greater build quality. You can see and touch the workmanship that goes into all their products. A customer is more likely to purchase a product that not only performs well but also built to last.
3. Leverage the Power of Branding
The importance of branding cannot be overstated.
Excellent branding can accelerate the growth of your small company into a multi-billion dollar corporation. Without the Swoosh, Nike wouldn’t be Nike as we know it today. The Swoosh no doubt played a big role in its growth from a local brand into a global powerhouse.
The same story can be told of many of today’s popular brands.
As such, you must invest in your business’ branding right from day one. If you don’t have any branding expertise, be sure to hire an experienced professional to help you design and implement a brand development strategy.
Branding professionals know what it takes to create a logo that will catch the eye of the modern consumer. They can pick out colors and other branding elements that are consistent with your company’s mission and vision.
Keep in mind that branding isn’t a one-time process that ends as soon as your logo, tag line, and other branding elements have been developed. It’s a continuous process that ensures your brand keeps evolving with your customers’ changing tastes and preferences.
Over time and as your business grows, you might want to hire an in-house brand manager. Among other duties, this professional will be in charge of monitoring your business’ digital reputation and taking adequate steps to address negative reviews and comments.
4. Offer Great Customer Service
Having the best product in the market and a team of branding professionals at your disposal isn’t enough. You need to combine these with excellent customer services.
Excellent customer service isn’t just about responding to your customer’s questions and feedback. It’s also about doing so in a timely fashion. In the Digital Age, more than half of all consumers expect businesses to respond within one hour –including during the weekend!
Another way to offer great customer service is to provide multiple contact channels. Go beyond the tradition phone number and email address. The modern customer wants to contact their favorite businesses on social media platforms, as well as on website live chat.
Speaking of websites, how user-friendly is yours? Is it built with the customer in mind? Is the design responsive? Does it load ultra-fast?
Considering that the vast majority of consumers in the United States now shop online, the quality of your website can make or break your business.
5. Discounts/Deals Are a Customer’s Friend
Granted, every business will offer discounts from time to time, but it’s the innovativeness of your discounts that will make a difference.
In fact, instead of offering a price slash, why not develop a customer reward program that runs throughout the year? The program can contain a wide range of rewards, from straight discounts, loyalty points, free samples, referral bonuses, and whatnot.
A reward program gives your customers an extra incentive to stay loyal to your business. It’s also an effective way to demonstrate that your business isn’t just about making profits; that it also cares about its customers.
You Can Beat the Competition
Competition is a double-edged sword. It can chop your business to shreds or give you that extra weapon you need to succeed. We’ve shared the various tips you can use to beat the competition, now your task is to put them to use.
Good luck and keep reading our blog for more small business tips.