Sometimes, there is no greater challenge for a small business owner than to set his or her business apart from the competition.
Regardless of the market, there is rarely a business that does not face strong, direct competition from others in the field. But this does not mean your business can’t progress to be at the top of its field.
Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana offers local businesses the following tips to set their companies apart from the competition:
- Start With Trust®. Be sure to have your business on file with Better Business Bureau. Every day, thousands of people check with BBB before doing business. Having a BBB Business Profile with a good rating and strong Customer Reviews shows everyone that you do business with integrity. If you are a BBB Accredited Business, be sure to use your Accredited Business Seal everywhere so your customers know the can trust you.
- Offer superior service. Be the best at what you do. Don’t give customers a reason to go for ‘average joe’ instead of you. Make sure your products and services are superior to anything your competitors offer. This means your company’s top priority is exceeding your customers’ expectations at every opportunity. A good way to make sure you’re on track with customer expectations is to ask them through regular customer surveys. Ask your customers to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 how important they feel certain features are in their overall customer experience. These list may include price, customer service, atmosphere, quality and reliability. The information you glean from a survey like this helps you pinpoint which areas are most important to your customers and where your business can improve. You can also use the features you excel at to differentiate yourself in your market.
- Know your competitors. If you want to beat your competitors, you need to know what they’re up to. By monitoring competitors on an on-going basis, you get to know their behavior and so can start to anticipate what they will do next. You can then plan your own strategies, so that you can keep your customers and win new ones. When investigating the competition, look for where they fall short. What are they doing right? See how others measure up in terms of location, size, pricing, types of services and products, availability, promotions, customer service, and marketing. When you find holes in your market, you can better define and refine your own niche, creating additional opportunities to deliver needed products and services to more customers.
- Know your customers. Who are you selling to? If you don’t know, it’s important to find out so you don’t waste money and time trying to impress the wrong people. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Many assume they’ll achieve greater success if they cater to several different groups of people instead of just one. This strategy doesn’t usually work.
- Be different. Once you have identified your consumer pain points, you’ll be able to devise a “Unique Selling Proposition,” your “secret sauce” that sets you apart from your competition. This will grabs people’s attention and offer a clear-cut, marketable benefit to your customer.
- Become the expert. People would rather buy from window businesses who know their stuff inside and out and have the knowledge and credibility to back it up. Being seen as an industry expert gives you a huge competitive edge. It increases your demand and places you in a position where you get to pick and choose which customers to serve. You can also command higher prices, which consumers will be more than willing to pay.
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization that strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact Better Business Bureau at (337) 981-3497 or at bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our free BBB “Scoop” eNewsletter by visiting bbb.org and clicking on the “Programs & Services” tab.
BBB Serving Acadiana covers the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.