When you’re a small business owner, a new competitor in town can feel menacing. However, just because some competition pops up in the marketplace, doesn’t mean that your own company is doomed. Utilize these strategies in order to neutralize the threat and keep your business moving forward:
Don’t immediately slash your prices
For some business owners, the natural instinct is to slash prices as soon as a new competitor pops up on the horizon. The thought is that this will make you most desirable to your clients, giving you the advantage. While you certainly want to make sure that your prices are competitive, making them as low as possible won’t necessarily ensure that your business thrives, and can actually end up hurting you in the long run. Instead, focus on the quality of your product or service and strong marketing efforts.
Don’t talk smack about your competition to your customers
Fight the temptation to go around talking smack about the new guy in town to anyone who will listen. Even if what you’re saying is true, this makes you look unprofessional. It also shows that you’re threatened by the presence of this new business. Instead, focus on highlighting the positive attributes of your own company, only talking about the competition when asked.
Find your niche
When new competition pops up, it simply means that your business needs to find its niche. Yes, there can be two coffee shops in the same town, as long as you’re offering different kinds of coffee or different experiences. Differentiate yourself from your competition and you’ll find that your client base won’t shrink just because there’s someone else in town offering something similar.
Take an honest look at your process
Use this time to get honest feedback from your customers and potential customers. What are you doing well? What could you be doing differently? What service could you offer that would really benefit your clients? By doing this, you’re making yourself invaluable to the people you serve.
How did you handle the presence of new competition in your area? Let us know in the comments!