If you have a business to run, one of the main pressures on you is the presence of rival businesses. They’re out there coming up with new products, improved marketing campaigns, persuasive sales, and other ways to cut into your share of the market.
Today we’re taking a look at what you can do about your rivals – you can co-exist, succeed and even thrive in a competitive market.
Have a Plan
The most important thing you can do is have a plan that governs your actions around your rivals – this is known as a competitor strategy.
Your competitor strategy helps you lay down the ways you’ll react in different situations, the red lines you won’t cross, and the tactics you’ll reach for around sales and new competitors entering the market.
It takes a lot of information to put this important plan together. Let’s take a look.
Who Are Your Competitors?
The first thing you have to do is identify who your competitors actually are. You can’t plan what to do with them unless you know the specifics about who’s also competing for you for customers.
The pool of competitors you’re dealing with, and how easy it is to identify them, can differ quite significantly depending on your industry and location. If you’re running a hair salon in a small town, it’s likely not too challenging to work out where people are getting their hair done if not with you. If you’re a retail business in a city you have not just a whole city’s worth of physical competition but also the internet as well.
It’s worth working with consultants here, who can do the research and find out which competitors you really need to worry about – the ones your customers could be choosing over you.
Who Are Your Customers?
The other important factor is finding out who your customers are. You need to know who’s shopping with you and why they chose you, and who’s not but should be (and why they didn’t!). If you don’t understand customers’ attitude towards you and your most important competitors, you’re flying blind. When you do know, you can tailor your business to those strengths, and make sure you’re filling in the gaps not addressed by other businesses.
Again, it’s well worth working with specialists here. Market researchers have the reach to get beyond your immediate customers and the analysis skills to tell you what all that data means.
With these two areas mastered, you can build a strategy that appeals to your strengths and your rivals weakness, and carve out a portion of the market for yourself!