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Competitors – a way to beat them without cutting price

Competition is often the bane of a business owner’s life when they are attempting to win new business.

With customers having instant access to information, finding a range of suppliers and checking them out is easier than ever before. Customer testimonials and ratings abound, thanks to social media and dedicated review sites such as Trustpilot.

So how do you stand out in a fiercely competitive market? We are going to look at a way to separate yourself from the pack to stand out from your competitors focusing on one strategy: specialising or nicheing.

Consider specialising (or focusing on a niche)

Essentially, this is identifying a part of the market that you want to dominate and go aggressively after as a specialist for that industry or type of client. This will be your niche.

For example, if your business supplies plants to offices, you probably have lots of competitors, who probably source their products from the same supplier as you. So without cutting price, how do you stand out?

Explore potential niches

First, look at the market and divide it into groups based on customers with things in common (these are called ‘segments’). This could be their location (e.g. City of London, West End or Kent), it could be industry (ie. media or banking), size, or the type of plants (maybe large plants).

Pick the niche for you

Then select and focus on one or more of these niches, positioning your company as, for example, the specialist supplier for SMEs based in the City. Ensure you do your numbers, understanding the size and profitability of the niche when deciding. Your opportunity may now be smaller, but you are in a stronger position to sell to these potential clients.

“No competition? Really?”

In some respects, you have no direct competition, holding a huge advantage over generic competitors who appear to be jacks-of-all-trades by comparison. People prefer to buy from specialists they feel are best suited to them – and often pay more for the privilege. You can become the ‘go-to’ company for this niche. This is something your competitors will not have.

Revise your marketing: your brand, offer and elevator pitch

You can then devote your business to dominating this space. Your brand, your strapline, your website and the look and feel of all your marketing messages can then clearly convey your specialism. Mention of something a potential customer can relate to will pique their interest. They are more likely to look at and consider you. Your marketing can be focused on talking loud and clear to your target prospects in sync with their needs.

Google will love you!

This has a major additional benefit online. You can rank higher on Google and other search engines for your niche, provided you change the content of your site.  and will be more likely to engage relevant visitors landing on your site.

You’ll be a magnet on social media

Your profile and posts will be more attractive to your target market. A solicitor is more likely to click on and read a post about how you have helped another solicitor than a client in another industry. Your images and videos will be more appealing for the same reason: your prospect will relate to them more.

“I am not sure if I should niche…”

Nicheing is not suited to every business. If you are unsure, or want to explore it, you can look at launching a sub-brand dedicated to your niche and keeping your main brand as it is.

A tip

In choosing, err towards a niche where you have track record and expertise. The first question in a prospect’s mind will be “who else have you worked with?” So be prepared with a few examples. Normally the sales process progresses as you have won credibility in their eyes.

Good luck!