By Ryan Velez
As an entrepreneur, crowded markets can be a headache, especially if you are going head to head with a larger business in your space. However, competition is not insurmountable, instead, you just need to be creative and industrious in how you approach various facets of a business. The Network Journal compiled some industry experts to share their insight regarding how they handle competition.
Jordan Gurrieri of Blue Label Labs says that as a small business owner, use quality over quantity to get your name out there. “Focus on your own business, customers, and employees. Make sure you are delivering the best results for your overall customer and employee satisfaction. Your customers and employees will vouch for you and spread the word. Your competitors will pay more attention to you instead of their own customers and team. That will make you stand out.”
To capitalize on this, use these good experiences to build relationships with your customers. Not only does this start building a base for you, but if a customer puts a positive review online or recommends you to their friends, they start doing marketing for you, for free! “From the get-go, focus on building a strong relationship with your customers. Send them a personal welcome message, offer your phone number in case they need anything, and always respond to emails in a timely, personable manner. Not only will this help you retain your customers, but it’ll turn them into advocates who will help set your business apart from the competition,” says Zachary Collins of ZaCo Technologies.
However, if you are going up against a mega-company competitor, there may be certain areas where you just can’t win out, like prices. O. Liam Wright of True Interaction says that you need to get the customer their added value elsewhere. “Offer something of value, such as business contacts, deep industry expertise, a helpful app or even a service network. Make sure you can assist with more than just their main request. Be cost-competitive, but focus more on reducing risk and increasing ROI for your client and give them that X-factor that they can’t get anywhere else.”
However, at the same time, don’t feel that you need to go overboard in trying to stand out. In fact, hyperextending yourself may hurt your business as you can’t be consistent. It’s easy to assume you need to do something complex — but you don’t. The easiest way to stand out from your competitors is to be honest and consistent. Always go out of your way to honor your word, no matter what. Treat your colleagues and customers with respect — the way you’d want to be treated. It really is that easy,” says Steven Buchwald of Buchwald and Associates.