Every business in all industries faces the task of handling competition. Regardless if you are selling products online or providing a valuable service in your community, it is highly likely that another company is offering a similar product or service. Part of developing and implementing a successful business strategy means learning how to address the other businesses that are your direct competitors.
The best way to combat competition is by focusing on all of the things that your company provides and others do not. Handling competition is easy when you review your competition regularly and face the challenge as a learning experience. You might discover untapped strengths that you never imagined your company had. Here are some great strategies for handling competition in business:
Find your niche.
Biting off more than you can chew is common mistake that many business owners make. If you truly want to combat competition, you need to build a reputation of excellence in one specific niche. Focus on meeting a specific customer need (or small set of needs) to the very best of your ability and do it better than your competitors.
Capitalize on the competition.
One effective strategy for handling competition is to look for ways to turn your competitors into clients. Not all of your competitors may be targeting the same clients you do. By learning about what your competition specializes in, you can network and refer clients to them. In return, sharing about your products and services gives competitors an opportunity to refer your small business to their clients.
Study larger companies.
A competitive business strategy that works across the board is examining what other companies with more resources have done in the past. You can learn from their mistakes and adopt their successful strategies as your own. Learning from bigger companies with greater revenue streams and workforces can give you renewed perspective on handling competition.
Develop a joint venture relationship.
Building a network of synergistic relationships can also help you combat competition. Look in your industry to find companies that share synergies, but are not direct competitors, and then approach them with a joint venture proposal. For example, if you are a wedding florist, consider working with a wedding stationer to offer joint packages or even a simple referral program.
The best customer base you can build is the one immediately surrounding your small business. You need to learn how to start handling competition in your local area before branching out to try and serve others. Start local and build to serve neighboring communities.
Get involved in your local community.
Community groups, activities and initiatives are key things that can help you develop a more competitive business strategy. This is the best way to build genuine relationships in your area, and word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective means of branding your business. Combat competition by being visible and active in your area.
Competition is healthy in the business world as it encourages creativity and innovation. You can combat competition by getting to know your competitors and using information about them to your own advantage. The key to all of the tips above is building strong relationships and communicating effectively with business owners and customers in your community. Take a proactive approach to handling competition, and your small business can’t go wrong.