By: Becky King, Across the Horizons Marketing & Public Relations Intern
You know your business is great; however, you also know that there are many businesses just like yours that are fighting for the same customers. Some of these businesses may be right around the corner. So how do you make your business more marketable? Here are 5 tips to “out-market” your competitors.
1) Know your competition. This tip is probably the most important and obvious. Although you may be selling the same product as your competition you need to know what is unique about their business. This will in turn help you differentiate yourself. Which brings me to my next tip. . . .
2) Differentiate yourself. You have to make your business unique from your competitors. The college that I graduated from has recently become very popular. This is all thanks to the college president Dr. Nido Qubein. Even though High Point University is a college not a business, he is constantly promoting (marketing) the school to encourage high school seniors to apply (buy his product) to his school. He gives away High Point University gear all the time. Students don’t bother going to the bookstore because a lot is given to them. HPU offers free shuttle service to the airport over the holidays but you must wear High Point University apparel in order to get on the bus. During the busiest travel times High Point is being portrayed at numerous airports. On warm days there is an ice cream truck riding around campus to give away free ice cream to the students. Dr. Qubein is setting his school apart from all of the other universities (competitors) and his tactic has worked. HPU enrollment has increased significantly since Dr. Qubein has been named President. This isn’t to say that you should give your customers a bunch of free stuff, but think about what you can do to make yourself different.
3) Modernize your image. You most likely have a website promoting your business and everything that you have to offer. I am sure it is great, but how can you make it better? Add a little color to your home page. Hire someone to add motion graphics when you first enter the site to grab your customer’s attention. Use videos and pictures to draw them in. Most people don’t want to read every detail about your company. Give them the basics in bold letters and let them know what you are about. If they are interested, they will look further.
4) Social media, social media, social media. Did I say social media? There are many businesses out there that still don’t realize how important social media is to a business. Everyone today is glued to their smart phone looking at the newest updates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Make your business well known on these sites and it will give you a leg up on your competition.
5) Pay attention to your existing customers. This will be who your competitor is trying to sell to. If your customer doesn’t feel like you are meeting their needs, they will have no problem taking their business elsewhere. Be attentive and personable. Show your customers that you care and that they are the reason why you have your business. Plus, if your customer is really pleased with you chances are they will tell a friend, who will tell a friend, etc. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools still around, it’s just given online now via social media platforms.
Owning a business can be very rewarding. Your competition will always be ready to “out-market” you. If you keep your customers close and are always thinking of new and fresh ideas, you can be very successful.