Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘friendly competition.’ If you’re in business, you’re probably aware that competition is never friendly. To succeed, you need to outshine your rivals. If you’re competing for customers, you’ll either win or lose, and you need to make sure that you emerge victorious. If you’re keen to steal the limelight, this guide will help you leave the competition lagging behind.
Attracting new customers
In this day and age, there are so many ways to attract new customers. Marketing techniques have become much more diverse, and there are all kinds of methods you can use to tell people about your business and encourage them to choose you.
They may be old, but that doesn’t mean that traditional marketing techniques can’t still be the best. If you’re aiming at a local market, strategies like flyering, posting adverts in newspapers and magazines and word of mouth are often incredibly effective. Before you start sending out brochures or handing out business cards, make sure you’re happy with your branding, and draw up a strategy. Where are you going to focus your energies? Do you have a specific zone or area in mind? How much do you want to spend? How are you going to track the progress of each method?
If you run a modern business, it also pays to embrace newer concepts. Online marketing can be incredibly beneficial to both small and large businesses. Many of us are attached to our phones these days, and we rely on the Internet to book tables, find beauty salons, hire electricians, and reserve hotel rooms, as well as checking emails and catching up with the latest news. If you want to reach out to a huge audience at the click of a button, the web enables you to do this.
There are various ways you can take advantage of the power of the Internet to impress potential customers. Social media marketing is one technique, which has proved amazingly effective for many companies. Use market research to determine which platforms would be most suitable for your target consumer, and start planning how you’re going to use social media to drive sales. Link your accounts and profiles to your website, update your pages regularly, and ensure that it’s clear for people to see who you are and what you do. You can start by inviting people you know to like your page and encourage them to share your page. This should ensure a steady increase in follower numbers, but to really make a difference, you may wish to consider options like Facebook advertising. Use analytics to evaluate the success of different methods, and invest more in the channels that bring you the most joy.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is another way you can attract more interest to your website. This method aims to lift your links up the search pages when somebody uses a search engine like Google. You can use backlinks, keywords, adwords, and popular search terms to propel you up the rankings. A bespoke domain name can also improve your SEO ranking.
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Selling your USP
Unless you’ve come up with something groundbreaking, you’ll probably find that there are several competitors trying to lure customers in their direction, regardless of the type of business you run. Your job is to make sure that potential clients choose you, so how do you do this? It’s essential for every business to have a USP. This is what makes you different from everybody else. If you have a great USP, and you’re confident that what you’re offering is better than other firms, sell your USP as much as possible. Don’t come up with something brilliant, and then fail to do it justice.
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Gaining the trust of your clients
In business, success isn’t just dependent on bringing in new custom. You also need to look after the people who have chosen you in the past. Your clients should trust you, and you should always put them first. Customer service isn’t always about giving out smiles at the reception desk. It’s also about protecting your clients, catering to their individual needs, and rewarding their loyalty. When a client chooses you, they need to know that they’re making the right decision.
As a business owner, it’s always important to cover yourself, just in case things go wrong. If you encounter problems, you need to be able to react quickly and provide your client with a satisfactory solution. If you have insurance, for example, this can make the difference between losing money and losing the trust of your customers and recovering from a potentially difficult situation quickly. If you don’t already have insurance, it’s worth doing some research. You may be considering public liability insurance or professional indemnity insurance. You may have heard of these terms, but what does professional indemnity insurance include? Basically, if you have this cover, you’ll be able to compensate a client or fellow contractor if you make a mistake and it has a knock-on effect. It will also cover the cost of legal fees. Sometimes, people you work with will insist that you have insurance before they sign on the dotted line, but even if they don’t, both parties can enjoy peace of mind.
Adapting your strategy
The world of business is evolving all the time, and to stay in the game, you need to be able to adapt. Keep an eye on what the competition is doing, and adjust your strategy accordingly. If a rival is offering a better deal that you are, you need to act to prevent existing customers from defecting and new clients choosing them. This doesn’t necessarily mean undercutting them, but lowering the price or offering a discount for multiple purchases may be an option you consider.
If you want to make it to the top in business, the sooner you realize that no competition is a friendly competition, the better. You don’t want to adopt underhand tactics, but you do want to ensure that your company is the customer’s favourite. Draw up a marketing strategy to get the word out there and bring in new customers and make the most of your USP. Make sure your clients trust you, put them first, and be prepared to move with the times. Good luck!