One hard truth that new entrepreneurs find out quickly is that running a business is hard and they’ll have to compete if they want to be successful.
In many ways, doing business follows the Darwinian principles of natural selection—only the fittest survive. If you don’t innovate, take risks, and attract new customers, you’ll go extinct. So how do you stay competitive and grow your customer base in a fierce marketplace?
Outprice Your Competitor
Offering a more affordable option is always a good way to attract new clients. However, simply being the cheapest product around doesn’t automatically guarantee that people will be buying from you. A low priced item is often considered an inferior one. What you can do is study your competitor’s pricing structure and decide on a price that’s lower but would not raise questions about your brand’s quality or value.
You can also establish a clear pricing strategy. Decide if you want to offer “everyday low prices” like Amazon or Walmart. Just make sure you can consistently offer lower prices than your competition. You could also utilize a “price discrimination” strategy where you analyze how customers find your business and adjust pricing based on their spending power. Experiment until you find the best strategy.
Make Allies of Other Businesses
Building a database is challenging, but you can make things easier by aligning your company with other established businesses that serve the same demographic. You then look for a way to promote your company with their database. For instance, a new boutique can work with a popular hair salon and offer a free summer dress to the first 100 customers who’ll get their hair cut or colored. But they would have to pick up the dress at the boutique.
Think of the older business as a host and your brand as the beneficiary. Making an ally of the host provides you with a large set of prospects. Meanwhile, your host will have a way to reward their most loyal clients. It’s a win-win situation.
Provide Better Customer Service
One of the best ways to encourage your competitor’s customers to give you a chance is to provide them with better customer service than they’re used to. One study revealed that 89% of consumers would change brands if they experienced poor customer service.
Customers return to brands that make them feel appreciated, respected, and valued. You can make them feel this way through simple things like greeting them with a smile when they come to your store or sending personalized emails. Listening will also get you a lot of customers. Listen to them even when they are complaining. Never justify the mistakes made or blame or criticize your client. They will always have the right to speak out.
Study the Competition
Whatever your product is, if it makes money, it will likely have a competitor in the market. Instead of holding out for that one unique product, you should study rival companies and use them to refine your brand.
Analyze your competitors’ products and services to see what they offer and what they do not. You can then brainstorm ways to innovate and find solutions to unsolved problems in your particular niche. Doing this allows you to offer something that no one else does.
Ask your current clients for referrals.
Create a simple referral template you can share with your best clients. The key to success here is to ask for the referral at the moment your client is most happy with your work. Catch them in a positive state of mind, and they don’t mind going the extra mile to send more business your way.
Winning new customers is a sweet feeling. It feels even better when they come from your competitors. Integrating these ideas with your marketing plan will give your business an advantage.