How Do You Deal With Competition?
This article first appeared on Alignable, social media site (https://alignable.com) as a question for discussion. It is shared here as a means of spreading the word that competition is a good thing, not something to be feared.
There’s been a lot of great information already shared about your concern Mike, and the discussion was augmented by Alison’s great story (albeit sad to a degree) of the lack of ability to compete with Big Box chains.
At this very moment, I am writing a book on creating the
Gold Standard to Achieving Authority and Expert Status,
some of which discusses seemingly overwhelming competitive pressures.
I look at competition as a benefit, not a liability. One can learn a lot from their competitors, if they study them, track them, and learn what works for them and what doesn’t. It also lets you learn what it will take to NOT BE LIKE THEM. Establishing a unique position in the marketplace is key to survival and the ability to thrive. However, you have also to let the world know how you can solve their problems, ease their pain, make their lives better and to also stand out. If you do that properly, you can charge whatever you like. Being alone in your particular little niche you can choose your clientele. Why try to work with everyone when you can have your pick of those that are destined to work with you. By being the ideal solution to your ideal client base will create celebrity status, establish your authority and expertise that people will clamor for.
Mike, your company name is Unique Auto Care, so answer me this. What makes you unique other than your name? What do you do that the public (or your ideal clientele) obtain from your services that they cannot get anywhere else? Why should anyone believe you when you state you are unique when you may not be?
You see, these are the types of questions you need to explore deeply to separate yourself from the competition. Don’t worry about others, focus on what makes you the best, the number one, the only place in town, Unique.
The recommendation about email marketing goes for you and Mike. Have you maintained an active email list of all your clientele? There’s a saying, a cliche’ however, it is so true; The money is in the list. If you have not, get started right now. You’ll need it for your marketing campaigns you need to run.
One recommendation Alison, you may want to spend time with someone I know, Gerry Foster. He’s spent his entire life since childhood working in the branding business. He’s taught at 4 universities, used to work for P & G as the branding specialist, and loads and loads of expertise. He is even part of the faculty at CEO SPACE, the world’s greatest organization for growth and business acceleration. You might think about rebranding your business. Off the Porch to me sounds like something someone might describe as the end of a statement; the dog is Off the Porch. Or the answer to a question, where is the hose bib? It’s Off the Porch. How would I ever know that you are a custom costume shop? I certainly do not make fun, but point out the obvious to you in the event no one has had the stones to do so.
It sounds to me like both of you have terrific businesses. Both of you could use some coaching. There are plenty of marketing gurus on this site and across the Internet. You might want to consider having some frank, offline discussions with a few of them.
I wish you nothing but raving success and happiness. Go get it.