In business, you need to work hard to succeed. There will be many other companies similar to yours, and while you don’t want to bring them to financial ruin, there is the need to fight to survive in the very competitive marketplace.
According to this website, four in ten businesses close down within five years. That is a frightening statistic, and you don’t want to be among them. Therefore, you need to stand out from the rest by finding ways to rise to the top. The business world is ruthless, so while you want to make a few friends within your chosen profession, you need to understand that you will also make a few rivals as you try and keep your business alive.
To help your business excel, here are a number of ways in which you can make our company truly stand out from the rest.
Fantastic customer service
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and without them, you are guaranteed to fail. Therefore, make them your number one priority.
First of all, work on your communication skills. Whether you speak to them face to face, on the other end of the telephone or through email, make sure you always treat them with respect. You are guaranteed to get the occasional difficult customer, but show them the same consideration. It’s possible they have something valuable to say, so don’t write them off as being a pain in the ass.
No matter how busy you are, you should always make time for your customers. Don’t put them on hold for too long as they are likely to disappear, never to return. When they have a query about a product, answer as soon as you can, and give them honest information. You may think you’re the greatest salesperson in the world, but many people can sniff out the truth from the lies, no matter how engaging your sales pitch.
Reward your long standing customers with special offers, discounts, and the occasional freebie. You don’t want to lose money, but good word of mouth will spread when your customers tell their friends about the incredible services you are offering. We all like to be surprised, so when a customer receives a small gift through their mailbox, you are going to make their day and keep their custom.
Take a look at your competitors. They may have a similar business to yours, but what do they offer their customers? Make every effort to go one better than them, such as offering free shipping on your products, or next day guaranteed delivery. You should also have an efficient returns policy. While you don’t want to cut too many costs, it is important to sell your product for slightly less to beat your competition. Or, at the very least, make sure your product is better quality than that offered by your rivals.
Put the customers first in every aspect of your business, and you will keep them for a long time to come as well as attracting many new ones.
Go your own way
When exploring the competition, there will be avenues they have not gone down. Perhaps they focus solely on a particular age range or gender in their marketing. They may not ship globally, preferring to stick to the local market. Whatever they do, exploit the holes in their business model to set yourself apart. It’s no good trying to reach the same people if you have nothing new to offer, so spreading your business interests to other demographics will give you a greater chance of survival.
Consider what you are selling. How many other people are producing and selling the same products and services? It doesn’t matter how similar your product is, but find ways to tweak it to make it stand out from the rest. Perhaps you could use different colors, materials or sizes that other companies haven’t covered. Of course, you could also be innovative, and produce something that nobody has thought of before. This is a risky venture, but every great idea has to start somewhere.
Outsource to other professionals
You may have an in-house team supporting you with the everyday tasks of running your company, but you should also consider hiring specialists who are available to make your business look more professional. For example, these are just some of the people you should consider occasionally hiring to enhance your services:
A copywriter. Words matter when it comes to marketing your business, so a professional copywriter will help your company stand out from the crowd by telling your unique story. They will provide engaging content for your website, from working on your blog to writing copy to sell your product.
A web designer. Many business owners create their own website, often with free software tools that are readily available on the internet. That’s great, but chances are the presentation of our site will let you down. A web designer will create something eye-catching, as well as help you manage the functionality of your site to improve the user experience.
An SEO specialist. Considering the number of similar companies selling their product online, you need to rank higher within search engines, appearing on page 1 rather than 100. With the clever use of keywords, somebody proficient in SEO will give your website the boost it needs.
An accountant. Many businesses fail because of poor money management. No matter how skilled you are with numbers, you are also responsible for the many other facets of your company. An accountant will help you manage your income and expenses, work out your taxes, and give you valuable advice in helping your business stay afloat.
Create a brand or rebrand
When you visit the local supermarket, there are likely branded items that you go for, rather than the generic or poorly packaged items that are also cluttering up the shelf space.
A successfully branded product has a great looking logo, a catchy slogan, and an original brand name. Think about the products you buy, and what those companies have done to win your custom. In the same way, consider your business, and how you can create a brand, or perhaps rebrand to stand out from all the other similar companies in your field.
Rather than be known as Yet Another Generic Company, try and come up with a name for your business that is punchy and memorable. You then need to create a logo, using a professional software tool from a designated company if you lack the design skills to create your own. Then think of a catchy slogan, a short verse or phrase that will stick in people’s minds.
Your branding is about creating an identity, not only visually but also in the way you conduct your business. You may have chosen bright and vibrant colors for your website, but your personality and ethos needs to match.
When you have created a brand, use it everywhere. The more people that get to hear about your brand, the better. You don’t want to be forgotten, so your branding is an important part of your marketing. So, have your brand displayed on your website, business cards, uniforms, freebies letterheads and more. Advertise in local media, such as trade magazines, on the radio and billboards. Yes, there will be an expense as you push your brand into people’s minds, but this is something every successful company, including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, have done to survive.
Standing out from the crowd in all aspects of your business should guarantee a greater level of success. Good luck!