They say competition in business is a good thing, but if you’re the one getting beat up on by the competition, you might find it hard to appreciate that saying. While this can be a frustrating situation, especially if you believe in what you’re doing, there are usually seven main reasons that the competition might be beating the pants off of you. Take a deep breath, be willing to look at your business without the rose colored glasses, and see how many of the following may apply to you.
They Offer More Value
First, make sure your competition isn’t just better. This not only goes for technical skills or ability, but what about how rapidly you respond to calls or e-mail inquiries, how easy it is to set up an appointment, or what level of customer service you give? This isn’t just about being solid or professional in all those areas, but how do you compare to who you’re competing with?
If you’re polite but professionally curt while all the competition is extremely friendly and easy to chat with, maybe that’s the edge letting them stay ahead. Do they offer more value than you currently do? Marketing only gets so far and if you are the low man on the value totem pole, then you need to fix this above all else.
Fighting for King of the Hill
Sometimes you’re in an industry in an area where there is a very established presence. Fighting the old dog to be king of the hill can be rough, especially when dealing with smaller towns or cities, like Portland and Vancouver and in certain regions. Here the best thing you can do is to understand this is a long-term fight and to take advantage of modern tools, marketing, and strategies to inch your way in.
This is especially true with focusing on the younger part of your market. Consumers 40 and under, and those 30 and under in particular, care a lot less about tradition or who has been around the longest. Reaching out hard for them will pay off over time by letting you catch more and more of the market share as they age into the main percentage of local consumers. That needs to be the focus for stepping up as the new king of the hill in these scenarios.
They Understand Online Advertising
Online advertising matters. They get more business than TV ads, print ads, and are the main way many people find professionals to take care of various needs or services. There are many opportunities to advertise online, but every method has its own quirks and depending on the business, the ROI can be quite different. Understanding how online advertising works and how to test to see what gives you the biggest return will determine in many markets which business ends up on top.
They Have Better SEO
SEO determines which websites end up on top and which are buried in the online never never. Whether a long-time resident, a young person reaching adulthood, or a new person moving into the area, the first instinct is to grab the smartphone and Google for local businesses. If your website is on top, you’re going to get most of the business. Better SEO determines who Google puts on top and who isn’t pulling any new business.
You’re Not Taking Advantage of Creativity
A regular, professional, standard advertising campaign or outreach has never gone viral. It has never resulted in massive results or above and beyond sales. Being willing to take advantage of creative freelancers and creative professionals makes a big difference and can create advertisements that pull in attention, create brand awareness, and make old quality creative outreaches that will stick in potential customers’ minds months or even years after the outreach took place.
You’re Fighting a Negative Reputation
This can happen in some surprising ways. You may have many happy customers, but then have many stories going around your business in the community that you don’t even know about. Hiring some services to get a sense of what the community thinks of you independent of your efforts can make a big difference. Don’t just look at online and print reviews, but keep in mind employee stories carry huge weight. A few mistreated employees bad mouthing how they’re treated in the business could be sabotaging your efforts.
People Don’t Know Who You Are
This ties hand in hand with knowing your market. There’s no question SEO & online advertising is huge…but in some areas there are two main radio stations that 95% of the town listens to. In that market inexpensive radio advertising could be the absolute best option, but you have to know that to take advantage of it. Brand awareness isn’t just marketing jargon, people need to know who you are before they’ll trust your services.
Look over these 7 notes honestly, and chances are you’ll find one or more that might explain why your business is losing to the competition.