By: First Union
Some Helpful Tips for Getting Ahead of Your Competition
Keeping an eye on the competition and then staying ahead of them, most would agree, is pretty important for any business. In virtually every market you are going to see competitors trying to outdo one another. For some, this process is easy, for others, they struggle to get the upper hand. Below are a few tips for getting out ahead of your competition and staying there.
What are your customer's pain points?
Remember, your product is addressing a need or some sort of gap consumers may have. Understanding exactly what that pain point is will ultimately help you to address it optimally. You don't merely want to "sell" to people—anyone can sell; you want to legitimately help them solve a problem that they have. You want to offer a benefit to their life in some way. If your competitor is failing to take the time to understand what needs have to be met and you consequently work hard to fill that void, you will pull ahead.
Create your own niche
Perhaps yours is a crowded market; that's okay. Any market has room for some creative expansion. What is unique about your product or service that you can thus offer customers? Establish your own niche here, such that your competitors aren't really involved in it. Specialization is always a great way to build and increase your brand exposure. Niche markets do well, period. Start small if you have to; look to local platforms and channels and create a niche marketing strategy.
Know your pricing
Price too high, they will go to your competition, too low and you'll put yourself out of business fast. Here is where some homework is required. You want to see exactly what/how your competitors are pricing. Are they offering key promos or discounts? You also want to know something about their product. Check its quality. Does it offer true value in relation to where their pricing stands?
Don't forget to innovate
As we've seen especially these past few months, change is inevitable. And a company's ability to keep up with change and innovate in the face of such change—even catastrophic change—will mean the difference between failure or survival. Don't be afraid of taking risks to this end. Some of the riskiest endeavors have paid off the biggest for small business owners and helped launch them far ahead of the competition.
Focus on customer service
People want to work with companies who genuinely care and take the time to address their needs and concerns. You simply cannot beat great customer service. The customer is why you're in business after all. Make sure your staff is all trained accordingly. That not only do they know your products inside and out, but they have the soft skills for effectively dealing with customers when issues arise.
First Union Lending loves helping small businesses. We've been working hand in hand with clients throughout the challenges of the past few months, and we are invested in seeing our clients survive and thrive. If you need additional capital to weather the storm, don't hesitate to contact us!