Going up against larger competitors can seem like a losing battle, especially if they’re offering the same products or services as you. Some people even avoid competing for this reason.
Having competitors is a core part of running most businesses, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
What can I offer that my competitors can’t?
The key to finding your competitive edge is in researching what issues your competitors’ customers have with them. This could be down to service, product quality, price, or buying experience.
Identifying what’s missing for their customers may allow you to step in and provide it for them.
Simplify the experience
Are your competitors complicating the processes or services they offer? Providing a simpler alternative could be your competitive angle.
It could save time and energy for customers, which they’d rather spend on other things.
Provide a tailored experience
With so many businesses out there providing the same thing, one way a smaller business can stand out is by providing a tailored experience that customers aren’t getting elsewhere.
Nowadays, people prefer tailored experiences rather than a one-size-fits-all model. Rather than rigid packages, think about letting customers pick and choose exactly what services and add-ons they want to use. This sort of flexible approach will be appreciated by customers who are used to having to pay for things they don’t need.
Give personalised care and attention
Feeling like just another customer is a common feeling when shopping with big retailers and companies. Where you can compete with big, faceless corporations is to put some time into your customer care. It could be a simple thank-you note in a parcel. It could be a birthday discount or a membership option for regular customers. What can you do to make your customers feel special?
Compete on price or value
Smaller businesses tend to have smaller overheads, though you might also find it difficult to get volume related discounts. If you can’t pass any savings on overheads onto customers, then explore where you could add value. For instance, a painter and decorator can add value for a customer by accommodating more unusual working hours for their convenience. You could also add value by offering more for the same price as other businesses, so that customers are more likely to pick you.
Offer better quality
If you know that bigger businesses are offering cheap products (the “they’re cheap for a reason” type) then you can offer better quality products as your competitive edge.
Not everyone wants the cheapest option. There is certainly a market for that, but there’s also a market for those who prefer to invest in quality and see value rather than price.
What improvements can you make to your products or services that the bigger businesses seem to be struggling with? This could involve some researching of bad reviews of other businesses to see what people are finding problematic. Then it’s up to you to provide a solution.
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About The Author
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.