Competitors – Bah-Hum-Bug!
I have a business in an area where there is no competition, yet my business is failing. On the opposite end of town the same business is thriving. What am I missing? There could be any number of reasons why your business is failing. • Is your location easily accessible to the busy client who has money to spend? • Good visibility? • Is your product as high or higher in quality as your competitor? • Have you compared your product with theirs? o Employ a brutally honest person to do the comparison with you. • How does your pricing compare? o Unfortunately, this is generally the only comparison competitors – especially small businesses – tend to make. Price is not always the issue. ? If I make a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie warm and moist with chocolate and crunchy with walnuts that melts in your mouth, but I charge a dime more – and your cookie tastes like it came from a box - I guarantee you, mine will sell for that extra dime. • What differs in customer services? o Are you and your employees smiling and ready to help when a customer enters your store? o Do you listen carefully to customer requests and complaints? • Does your area of town consist of people who want your product? o How do you know? ? Did you do a market survey? ? Were the demographics accurate? Have they changed? All of these issues should have been addressed before opening your business. If they were, has something dramatic changed in the geographic area? If not, take a look at the internal workings of your business – purchasing habits, bookkeeping issues, hours of operation, employee salaries, your salary and so forth. Frequently, when small businesses panic because sales drop off, they mistakenly think that adding product will change things. When times get tough – there are exceptions to this rule – learn to put your energy into being the very best in your chosen field. Leave no stone unturned to create a stellar reputation for quality and service. Unfortunately, frantic expansion can sometimes look like desperation to the astute customer. Address all these areas with total honesty – get some help – and make the changes necessary. There’s a chance you can save the business. Good luck.