You’re all set. You’ve been running your small business for a while but realize that not much is changing since you started. You’re wondering what you are doing wrong. More than likely, you are doing nothing wrong. Many similar businesses existed before you. These small businesses have been doing business longer than you and have established a repeat customer base. What can you do to increase your own customer base and smash the competition?
Do your market analysis and research. Knowing the market where you run your business will give you insights into the amount of competition, existing and potential customer base, costs of materials and operations, and other useful demographic information which will help you make decisions as to what direction you may want to take your small business.
Know your competition! Learn everything you can about what makes a competitor successful. How long have they been in business? What is the demographic of their customer base? What makes their business more attractive than your own business? Knowing how much competition is out there is also important. You could be looking at a saturated market and will have to take steps to differentiate your small business from other similar small businesses in your region.
Have an exciting marketing campaign which reenforces your brand. This is very important so that your customers and potential customers automatically know your business through your advertising and your brand. An example of an exciting marketing campaign could be a contest in which the customers have to interact. Other types of exciting marketing campaigns can include coupons, events, and any other type of promotion that will bring customers directly to your doorstep.
know what your customers want and make it happen. Asking your customers to fill out a short questionnaire can give you insights into what your customers expect and what makes them happy. Make it happen. A happy satisfied customer is a return customer. If something bad happens that leaves a bad impression on a customer, go out of your way to make that customer happy.
Set your business apart from similar businesses. When researching your competition, you are surprised to find that there are many similar businesses to your own. Look at current trends and predicted trends. You can set your business apart from the competition by offering innovative new technology inspired products and services. Another way to set your business apart is with creativity. Visual and audio stimulation can attract customers more easily than an amateur marketing campaign. Creativity, as an example, could be to update your company colors, offer visually stimulating logos, designs, marketing materials, and photos.
Undercut slightly your competitor’s prices. Giant corporations know this too well. Often, when a big player enters into a new arena, they undercut their competition temporarily until they obliterate their competition. It is at this point they raise their prices. As a small business owner, you may not be able to cut prices like the big players, but you can probably figure out how to save on one end to lower prices on the other.
Offer a higher quality product than your competitors. Thinking about Chinese products, one of the main reasons people by them is that they are cheap. Today, after cheap throwaway products, people are yearning for quality. Find quality suppliers and produce quality products which you are proud to put your brand and business behind. If your business is a service, make sure your service is top notch. High quality products speak for themselves, and you will quickly get a repeat customer base.
In a saturated market, niche. If you find the competition too stiff to break into the market, then find your niche. Niche marketing works! Not only will it differentiate your business from other similar businesses, but you will be offering a unique product or service. This uniqueness will be the selling point, and the reason customers flock to you.
Create a networking group. If you can’t beat them, force them to join you. You’ll create an environment where you force your competition to support your business and others like it within the network. It’s a two-way street. You will have to support them also. The most positive aspect of this type of arrangement is the openness of business secrets and the sharing of information. Both prove valuable when thinking about how to get more customers from your competition.
You can beat your competition more easily than you think. Try the previous and watch your small business not only get a jump on your competition, but you may also be able to make your market more exclusive in the long run.