Running a small business isn’t easy. In our global society there is unlimited opportunities, but also unlimited threats. So when a competitor moves in — especially a big one — it can feel like battle lines have been drawn.
Sharpen Your Edge
Before you do anything, accept the fact that you can’t compete on the same level as a large national chain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win the battle. Study what the competition does and how they do it. Then use that information to define — and sharpen — your company’s competitive edge.
A large competitor will almost certainly have lower prices and a deeper inventory. But you can connect with customers in ways the competition can’t. You can add value to every customer interaction by being attentive and providing expertise and personalized service.
Perhaps your biggest edge is your size. Being small means you can respond to market trends and customer requests more quickly. You can also change and adapt policies and procedures faster.
Rally the Troops
You have another big advantage; you have an established customer base and you know what they need. Establish a timeline to reach out to your customers directly via snail mail or e-mail (or both) with special offers. If you have a loyalty program, consider doubling rewards for a period of time that overlaps with the competition’s opening. Now is the time to evaluate your existing relationship management strategy to keep your existing customers loyal.
Look for Advantages
Having a big competitor move in may have some unexpected benefits. The new company validates the need for what your business offers and may do a fair amount of advertising. If your marketing budget allows, this could be a good time to do some strategic advertising of your own.
The competition also may create some unexpected opportunities in the future. The new company will change the dynamics of the marketplace, which may lead you to steer your business in a new direction.
Want to stay ahead of the competition? We are available to help you strategize and keep your business on the right track. Contact us
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