Competition is a fact of life and business. But when you are starting a new business or strategizing for an existing one, competition can be intimidating, and it will affect every aspect of your planning, from pricing to promotion.
Operating in a highly competitive market where your products might be a commodity is naturally going to be different from selling in a less crowded space.
However, there are various factors that must be put into consideration when trying to disrupt a competitive or already crowded market.
Before entering a competitive market, thoroughly research your competition. You may have to offer a unique service or benefit to stand out in your market. Once you start to generate business, provide excellent customer service so you generate a positive reputation, encouraging new customers to visit your establishment or purchase your product.
Research your competition’s pricing online, in person or by email. For example, if your competitors don’t advertise prices for services or products, send an email asking for more information. You don’t have to match the lowest prices available, although you shouldn’t charge significantly more.
If you’re selling products through an online provider, check the cost ranges of the website’s search functions. Some websites offer a search-by-cost feature, so make sure your items are priced to show up on the first page of search results.
Research the services offered by your competition. If you’re trying to start a detail service, for instance, your competitors may offer a mobile service or warranty. To make your business stand out, offer services that others don’t, such as free shipping, a price match guarantee or discounts off future purchases.
Offering more than your competitors might warrant a slightly higher price. Add benefits that entice customers to continue using your business, such as a lifetime warranty on specific parts when customers use your service for maintenance.
If you’re inexperienced with advertising methods and creating effective content, hire an experienced marketing company to create your advertisements. Advertise the benefits of using your service or purchasing your product based on your previous research.
If you offer additional service or benefits lacking in your market or offer the lowest pricing in your area, mention so in your advertising. Purchase radio advertisements, television commercials and a spot in your Sunday newspaper. Advertise a sale or drawing to further generate business.
Create a positive reputation in your community. Sponsor a little league or golf tournament. Purchase T-shirts with your business name and contact information for your team to wear.
Join a charity in your area or donate a portion of your profits to a charity that you support, if possible. If you donate a portion of your proceeds to a charity, state so in your advertisements.
Support or join events at your church and network as much as possible. Offer your business location as a spot for community events, such as a car show or a holiday charity drop-off location.