Small Businesses – Stay Ahead of Your Competition
Imagine this. It’s 8 PM on Saturday night.
Bianca Andreescu is about to go on and play her final game in the US Open against Serena Williams.
The pride and joy of all Canadians.
The game hasn’t started yet and you are in the living room surrounded by a few of your closest friends. Everyone is yelling over each other, just to have a conversation.
One person is watching a Facebook Live of the pre-match discussions.
Another is scrolling through Instagram aimlessly. One of your buddies is texting his girlfriend.
Notifications going off all over the place. Ting! Tanana! Ting!
This is what you are competing with when you want to put your brand out in front of people. A chaotic storm of distraction, noise, and words. Add your competitors into the mix and it’s now world war 3.
With so much going on around people today, how do you stay ahead of your competition?
I’ll get to that in a second. First I want you to know that all hope is not lost. Even with this environment of distractions and quick impressions, there exist 100s of ways to make sure you stay ahead of your competition.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist, real estate agent, trainer, professional coach, or even an ice cream truck owner. I forgot to mention accountants, lawyers, consultants but I think you get the point by now.
So no matter what your industry is, I am going to give you a few sure-fire ways to stay ahead of your competition. It’s not a turn-key solution. And some of these start making a measurable impact after you do it for a while.
But one thing is for sure, implementing these thought processes & tactics can only bring you forward and help you stay ahead of the competition.
- Be creative with what you offer
Each summer Mcdonald’s does Dollar Drinks. That’s so cheap. Even water costs more than a Coca Cola from Mcdonalds in the summer.
I’ve personally gone there and ordered 5 drinks and left. Nothing else. Just 5 drinks. I bet you have done something similar before. But I’ve also gone there with the intention to buy 5 drinks and left with 5 drinks, 3 Big Macs and 2 Junior chickens.
Whoever came up with this offer at Mcdonalds is a genius. And this is the type of genius thinking you need to bring to your business.
Give your customers something they simply can not refuse.
- Use Video to Convey Your Message
Let’s circle back to Bianca’s game against Serena. Everyone is distracted with so much going on around them in that living room.
Technology has brought us giant leaps forward in almost all areas of life. But the fact of the matter is, we’ve also changed the way we process information.
✔️ Listening > Reading
✔️ Short sentences > long sentences
✔️ Video > Image
Humans are visual organisms. Coupled with the number of distractions, people are more likely to view your content, ideas, stories, and advertisements if they are in video format.
Accept it. Adapt to it. Grow with it.
- Become a local expert in your field
There are almost 8 billion people in the world. That’s a billion more than just a few years ago. And a billion less than just a few years later.
I guess what I am trying to say is, there’s room for your expertise to shine anywhere you might be. It’s never too late to establish yourself as an authority!
How you do it is really up to you.
- Be active on LinkedIn.
- Create a Facebook group for people who have a problem that your product or service can solve.
- Get in the news. And no I am not talking about being on forbes.com. Although that is also possible with the right execution. I’m talking about being on the local media channels. CP24. BlogTO.
It’s no rocket science. There’s really only 1 rule you need to follow.
Problem-solving. And if you solve problems, people will follow.
- Focus on repeat customers and referrals
Imagine you walk into your friend Pat’s birthday bbq. It’s Canada day and music is blaring. Everyone’s wearing red. You look for Pat. But you don’t see pat around.
What is your first instinct?
If you are like most human beings, you’re gonna grab a beer and look for someone you already know. And you will walk up to them and say hello.
Business is a lot like relationships with your friends, family, and significant others. The key difference is that one involves an exchange of goods and services for money.
Okay, maybe that’s true for some relationships too. But I think you know where I am going with this one.
It’s easier to sell to someone if they heard about you from a friend or colleague. (AKA your referral partners) It’s even easier to sell to someone who already knows you (AKA your customers)
So give your customers a good reason to buy from you again.. Because it also costs you less to get incremental sales from existing customers. And create referral programs for your partners, customers, employees. Heck, create them even for your suppliers.
Because if they put in a good word for you, it goes a long way. And if you incentivize them with discounts, revenue shares, or prizes, then they are more likely to do so.
- Turn your competitors’ weaknesses into your strengths
You may have just started out a year ago. Or you may have been around for decades. In most scenarios, there’s always someone who does it better than you do. Or has more market share than you do. Or people are more aware of their brand more than they are of yours.
But another thing is almost true in every single one of those scenarios. Your competition does not do EVERYTHING better than you.
Maybe your competitor is always on the news. But has zero presence on Instagram. Maybe your competitor has the best sales team in Toronto, but they don’t have access to the Greater Toronto Area market for one reason or another.
Maybe your competitor ranks first on Google search results because he’s been doing SEO for 10 years whereas you’ve been doing it for a mere few months.
With every strength your competitor has, that’s one less thing that competitors can focus on. So.. my advice to you is – Find where your competition lacks, and own that area of the business.
Yes. You can also directly compete with them on their home turf. And at some point you will have to do it anyways. But finding the key areas where they lack and then focusing your energy on these areas, this is the mindset of generals.
Fight enough of your battles where you hold the higher ground.
Do this enough times and win the war.
Be a Champion Like Bianca!
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