That sounds awfully strange… competition is good for business? Yes, it is. Have you ever noticed how many flower shops, churches and funeral homes are within a small radius of one another? Why does one gas station, grocery stop or restaurant locate across the street from another of the same business?
As a small business owner, let me give you a piece of advice. These corporations have a team of people assisting them in making these location decisions and most of them outlive start-up businesses so…. let’s just assume for the sake of argument that they obviously know something that many of us don’t.
I am human so it is even weird for me when I meet another start-up business consultant. I don’t think that I worry about them taking my clients but I wonder what sets thei services apart from mine. Many small business owners are afraid of competition because we think that the other business is going to steal our customers. However, this is actually far from the truth. Competition is healthy and it will help to build your business.
- When thinking of your business, you should evaluate your closest competitors and figure out what your competitive advantage is over them. If you can not think of one then you may be correct in assuming that your business will fall prey to the competition.
- Find ways to compliment your competition. Once you determine what sets you apart, don’t spend time trying to tear them down. Use your resources to highlight how they are good but how you are great. No one wants to believe that their previous vendor/merchant was garbage which is what you will be saying if you try to make your customers feel like your competition is trash in an attempt to make yourself look good.
- Stay competitive. You don’t want to make yourself the least expensive nor the most expensive just for the sake of creating a value based image. Make sure your prices are competitive by focusing on the value that your customer will get for their dollars. Some people would rather pay more if they know the quality is better while not everyone feels that because it costs more it is a better product/service. Research pricing strategies for your industry and use a pricing method that you can stand behind.
These are just a few reasons that you should not fear your competition, look out for a future article listing more advantages to embracing your competition.