How to stay ahead of your competitors

Once you understand your competitors, it’s worth taking time to think about how you can compete. And don’t worry, it’s not just about being the cheapest. We share some ideas for using your insights about other businesses in your field to help you grow and find new customers.

Know what makes you unique
Once you understand what your competitors offer, you can look at what makes you different. Is there anything you do or offer that they don’t? Is your service faster? Cheaper? More convenient?

Whatever you do that is different, then that’s what you should emphasise to your customers. Remember that price is only one factor in winning business. A local corner shop whose prices may be higher but is in the right location can still compete with the major supermarkets – convenience is the key benefit for their customers.

Once you’ve identified what makes you different (and better), then that’s what you should promote to your customers.

Get your messaging right
The next step is translating those benefits into messages that your customers will understand and act upon. Think about the challenges they face and why your unique proposition will help them. If you can translate what makes you different into a benefit for your prospective customers, then they’re likely to consider buying from you.

Look at your advertising and see if there’s more that you could do to promote that aspect of your service. Don’t be afraid to test new adverts to see if they perform better.

Reach the right audience
Of course, this is essential. Your business may have a unique offering and have a clear message for your prospects but if they never see or hear it, then they won’t come to you. You need to consider how you’ll reach people and using several different methods is often the most successful.

Your advertising campaigns should be reaching out to the right people and you can make them more effective by using other channels as well. Use the same messages on social media, your website and other promotional materials, so customers get a consistent view of your business and learn to recognise and trust you. This will increase the effectiveness of your campaign.

Deliver on your promises
It’s vital that once people come to you, the service that you offer matches what you promise. As the phrase goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”.

Make sure your customers have a great experience when they come to your business. Little touches can help, from mirroring some of the language you use in your advertising to offering help that they might not get elsewhere.

Make sure that your service showcases what makes you different. By doing that, you should stay competitive and win new long-term customers for your business.