Some businesses have the added advantage of being unique in their field. They are the only one with this product or service in the market. Nobody else has it. If that’s the case with your business, good for you. Enjoy the ride while you can. And if you are successful and make money, you will, sooner or later have competition knocking at the door. The better the money is, the more fierce the competition will be.
If you are like the rest of us (as in 99.9% of all businesses in America), you have to compete for market share with other similar or even identical businesses just around the corner. Only very few enjoy any sort of exclusive rights to a market. Even cable companies have to compete with Satellite and Internet. So we might as well say, that we ALL have to compete at some level.
I deal with small businesses all the time that try to increase the number of leads they get via internet marketing, seo services or paid Ads on Google or Facebook. While we are very successful at it, I’m often confronted with the reality that if their products aren’t that good, or their customer service sucks, we end up banging our head against the wall and then we inevitably fail to grow their business.It’s hard to deliver results when the product is weak.
So let’s just assume that you have a decent business model, good product/service and good customer service. Based on all the businesses I’ve looked at, including my own, here are the three things you need to beat your competition:
- Have a better product: Just have the best product or service you can possibly have. Make it the best. Answer your customers better than anyone else and don’t compromise quality. Focus on being the best in what you do. If you have a restaurant, have the best food ever, be known for that. If you are a lawyer, know the law better than anyone else you know. If you are a bagel maker, make the best bagel in the world. Be the best you can be. Have a quality control check list and reward your staff for producing the best product or service ever made. Two things will happen, 1:your staff morale will improve and you will attract the best talent, 2:your business will grow because people want the best, period.
Being the best at what you do is probably where I see the most businesses fail. After a while, they start to slack, they cut corners, they add water in the sauce instead of cream, just be the best and beat your competition.
- Have a faster delivery: Whatever you do, deliver or make it faster. Speed is a huge commodity in today’s world, because time is very precious. A lot of people are busy in their daily life, so anything delivered faster is a huge bonus. Answer the phone faster, return calls faster, deliver your products faster, build it faster. Just make speed a priority in whatever way, shape or form it may look like for your business. All your clients will appreciate it and will brag about it to their friends. This is a huge benefit to any company, so don’t over look it. The thing that brings down every business is to think or believe its not important to your industry or that your clients don’t care. Its not. People absolutely LOVE fast and accurate service in any way they can get it. Maybe its not the service itself that needs to be fast, like a massage for example. I don’t want my massage therapist to go fast. I want it nice and slow. But everything that happened before was super fast. The way they answer the phone when I called was one ring or less, they took my appointment in less than 60 seconds, when I got there on time, I didn’t have to wait at all. Make it faster and beat your competition.
- Have a better value proposition: Find a way to offer your products or services for less money than your competition. Note that I didn’t say, cut your profit margins. Don’t cut your profit margins. If anything try to increase them. What I mean is to find a way to provide your product or services at a better price by maximizing efficiency and/or negotiating with your vendors. Deal in greater volume to get better cost of goods. Reduce some expenses that are not needed or don’t improve the bottom line. Can you outsource? Is it time to look to other vendors with a better pricing model? Your question should be: where can we make our pricing the best it can be, without compromising our quality or profit margins? Ask yourself this question often. I see a lot of companies (especially companies that have been around for a long time) with a pricing structure that is over 5 years old. In today’s market, you should review your pricing model at least once every 12 to 18 months. While pricing is not the primary deciding factor for many people, its still a consideration. Overall, this is more about providing better value. People like a good deal. Have the best pricing or best value and beat your competition.
You may not be able to do all three based on your business, but you should at least have one of these strategies, preferably two in order to compete and beat your competition. In my opinion, if you have the best widget or service on the market and provide it faster than anyone, your value will be so great that people will most likely be willing to pay more than average for you. But try to do all three and you’ll always keep the competition at bay and you’ll dominate the market. Its that simple and that easy. Be the best, be faster, be of better value. The rest will fall in line…