India continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. With more than 51 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country, some business owners may face challenges getting noticed in highly crowded sectors like wholesale, retail, and manufacturing. If you’re concerned that your business may not outlast the competition, the good news is you’re not alone. Here are a few ways to beat your competition and thrive in a crowded arena.
1. Know Your Competitors
In the face of competition, what you don’t want to do is hide your head in the sand. When competitors launch businesses in your area, it’s important to find out what they’re offering. The reason for learning more about your competitors is to get a sense of their similarities and differences with respect to your business.
You also want to pinpoint ways that your company can stand out. For example, say you own a retail textile shop. You’ve been the only shop in your neighborhood for a year when a competitor opens a shop a few steps away from your door.
Right away, try to learn more about their product selection, prices, and special offers. Then, see if you can get a sense of what they’re not offering. They might have a great textile selection and competitive prices but hardly any sales staff, and no sewing notions or clothing patterns.
In this example, selling a wide selection of sewing notions and patterns might prove to be an effective way to get consumers’ attention. Selling some of your products online, for the sake of customer convenience, is also an effective way to look better than your competitors.
2. Know Your Target Market
Having a deep understanding of your target market is one of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition. You want to take time to gather data that offers specifics about your target customers so your marketing efforts to win them over pay off. This could include:
- Employment status
- Where they can be found online and offline
- What matters to them most: price, product quality, or customer service
You can learn these things by talking to current and potential customers in person or on the phone. If your customer base hangs out online, you might ask them for feedback via an online survey.
There are other effective ways to gather marketing intelligence about your target market and what matters to it most. These include showing customers samples of new products or demonstrating new services your business plans to offer. This can be undertaken either at your business premises or at a trade show.
Doing this type of market research can help you stay several steps ahead of your competitors. This is especially if they haven’t gathered data on their target market.
3. Update Your Company Image
Has it been a while since you ordered business cards and marketing brochures? Does your branding, like your logo, company tagline, and product packaging, have an outdated look and feel? It’s easy to stand out when you keep your business image up to date. Consumers may have less use for business cards these days, but they definitely take and share brochures.
To update your company image, consider sitting down with a graphic designer and updating your logo and the images you use in your marketing materials. If you’re in the retail business, you might consider updating the kinds of shopping bags you offer.
A reusable shopping bag in appealing colors with an eye-catching logo carried by a customer has the power to get your company noticed in your neighborhood, across the city, and beyond.
4. Boost Your Online Presence
By 2021, more than 600 million people across India will have access to the internet. Creating a robust online presence has the potential to help you win over large numbers of consumers in the coming years. To get a head start on your competition, consider website and publishing lots of useful content about your products and services and how they can help consumers. Internet users can access this information for years to come.
It’s also vitally important to stay on top of your social media presence since millions of consumers already use websites like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp daily. Social media is so important for marketing that you might consider hiring a full-time employee or a freelance social media account manager at the very least to ensure your accounts are updated regularly.
A dedicated person managing your company’s social media accounts also means someone is responding to customer comments, questions, and other types of feedback quickly. This is crucial when it comes to beating out your competitors.
5. Give Customers Unforgettable Experiences
In a fast-paced world, few things stand out more in a customer’s mind than the treatment they receive from a business. The good news is it doesn’t take much extra money, if any, to spend a few moments listening to a customer’s concern or explaining how to use a product or service. Yet these types of actions create lasting impressions that result in referrals. Using customer relationship management apps such as SherpaDesk and Share a Refund can help you gain consistency in the quality of customer service your company offers.
In the face of seemingly staggering competition, try not to get discouraged. Instead, figure out what makes your company different, and then plan a strategy for making it stand out.