Business is all about winning customers. You need a constant flow of new customers calling or walking through your doors, but you need to show these new customers how you can do it better.
Below, we look at a few areas for you to look at within your business to increase your competitive advantage.
Know your competition intimately
You need to study your competition intimately and document their product, services, price and promotional offers. A simple excel spreadsheet will suffice.
Pricing is something that every business has to overcome. You want to be competitive but not price yourself out of business. Use the information you collect when getting to know your competition to compare your price to the marketplace. You need to look back at your operational costs to determine if you can offer promotion offers to match or beat your competitors – but be careful – you don’t fall into the ‘el cheapo’ business category as word of mouth will spread, ‘you get what you pay for’.
Premium Product or Service
The other side of the above is to offer a premium product. When your competitors are all cutting their costs and seeking their product from cheap manufacturers, you need to differentiate yourself, by showing that you are offering a much superior product for a higher price.
Having a premium product is not the norm, but if you do remember that you have a very small window in which to become the market leader before someone copies your product e.g. Apple. Even if you don’t have a superior product you can offer something different, like superior service or specialisation that will allow you to raise your price.
Look at specialising in one service or one product. This does not mean to only offer that one service, but to become an expert in that product or service. Deciding to specialise in a particular product or service should be supported by the fact that it will be a more profitable move for the business.
The goal of marketing is funnelling highly targeted potential customers into the sales process. There is also the function of being ‘top of mind’. It is about branding, so when that day comes that your customer requires your service or products you will be the first they think of.
You need to brand your business. It’s all about getting your name out there having potential customers know who you are and why you are different. You need to sell them on why they should use your product or service compared to your competitors.
If you don’t already have your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) now is the time to start looking at what you offer or can offer that sets you apart. Are you faster, cheaper, premium product and service etc. You only need to write down a couple of sentences or just the words and put them up on the focus board and let all your team know to spread the word on your USP. Always sell your USP.
Promptness of Service
It could be that you promise to deliver your product or service more quickly than your competitors. If you wish to differentiate your business on this basis then offer a guarantee, to ensure you deliver. If you don’t deliver then you will need to compensate your customer.