Standing Out from Your Competition
Today We Discuss: How you need to get your local small business to stand out from your competition. We will offer you some ways you can do this.
Here are the Show Notes from the Episode:
**keep in mind that show notes are raw and only highlight what is in the episode. Listen to the show for the full content**
Episode 6 – Standing Out from Your Competition
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast, I am your coach Tammy Adams.
This is episode 6 and today we are going to discuss how to stand out from your competitors.
But before we dive in, I want to take a moment to discuss something that I saw on the Profit last night that really stood out based off our last couple of episodes.
If you aren’t watching the Profit, you need to. This is probably one of the best TV shows every local small business owner needs to watch. Marcus Lemonis, the amazing businessman behind the show, invests in local business to help not only turn them around, but to develop a brand that he can take national.
His main mantra is something I’ve always been preaching, just using different words and that is People, Process and Product. He gives mini business lessons to the audience and as a small business owner, you can learn so much.
The main reason I bring this up is, in last night’s episode Marcus asked the small business owner, who had 5 soup shops by the way, what his gross margin was. This owner looked right at him and had no idea.
This really stood out to me since we just got through talking about this last week how you need to know your gross margin. Here is Marcus and one of his key questions was this very thing and then he goes on to share how if this man gets his gross margins up he would add over a million in sales and $300,000 in profit from this one thing.
It really drove home how important this is.
So if you aren’t watching, please go back and watch all the episodes. Maybe we will dive in more in a future episode.
But let’s dive into today’s topic – Standing out from your competitors.
I picked this topic to follow our last episode’s discussion on our Ego getting in the way on purpose. Our Ego really goes crazy when it comes to our competitors. Often times we beat our chest that we are so much better than they are, that we miss what they are doing well.
I actually have a great learning lesson I had on this back in my Depot days. Since I had been with them from the 64th store, we were a very fired up group. We were growing so fast and kicking butt and our ego was huge. We dominated our competition and the love affair American had with us was pretty amazing.
As we expanded into the Western states, which is what I was a part of, we just took over a state at a time. We had no problem being obnoxious and cocky. Then a strange thing happened, we went into Washington up against a pretty popular big box retailer similar to us. No matter what we did, these guys kept getting strong and going head to head with us.
It kind of through us for a loop since we felt we were so much better than they were. But the customer was telling us something different.
Long story short, when we finally stopped beating our own chests and started to listen to the customer and how they were voting with their dollar we learned a valuable lesson. It led to use making a huge change that impacted a large chunk of our business.
Those of you that shopped us 15 years ago saw us transition from a huge contractor focus to one that was both a contractor business and a home décor business.
This was huge for us and a great move.
It all came from us just listening to what the customers were telling us we needed to do to grow our business and meet the needs they were looking for.
I tell you this story as it is just as important to each local small business owner as it was to this big box retailer.
For each of you, there are others in your community that are also doing either a similar business as you are or they are offering maybe 1 or 2 similar services. Your goal is to find out what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. What are the opportunities that you can be taking advantage of?
How can you stand out from your competitors?
Let’s just say, company XYZ is similar to yours. Their reputation is one poor customers service and you just know you kill them in this area. But you scratch your head since no matter how bad they are, people just keep using them. Your goal is to find out why.
Word of caution. DON”T ASSUME!! Odds are you will be wrong!
You might think they do well because they are cheaper than you. This might be true but this might not be why they are beating you or taking your business. No matter how cheap they are, if they are pissing off people they will lose repeat business over time.
I’m going to bet that it is more than that. I bet they do fantastic work. People are willing to put up with their attitudes and poor service only because the job they do.
But I’ve also seen it the other way. Really bad workmanship but people love how they treat them. They feel sorry for them but because they love them they give them the business.
Your mission is to ask around, talk to your community, check Facebook groups, why are people giving these folks business? How can you learn a lesson for your business?
You might do fantastic work, great service and getting your clocked cleaned by these horrible folks. Why?
I understand you might find they have deeper pockets than you do so they can advertise like crazy. While this might be true, you can’t give up. You need to find a way to combat that.
Now this doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars to compete. It does mean you need to be creative.
For example, you could create a tag line that says something like…. Why settle for less than what you deserve? If you have your truck or car with decals, add this tag line. Get in people’s head so next time they remember they don’t need to settle and they might remember you.
If you find they are great at something you aren’t, how can you tweak or improve your process?
Maybe they are offering a service that you don’t but should.
Maybe they have a product you don’t but should.
Heck, here is a novel idea, maybe you are providing the wrong products and services as well. Maybe your community is telling you that you are offering what they don’t want.
Make nothing off limits. It might not be them; it might be you. Just like we discovered with my earlier example, it was our fault the community wasn’t using us for their décor needs. We were the company that put Do It Yourself on the map and we let another company come in and use this to teach people how to do it themselves in décor and we forgot to show up to the party we set in motion.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Another great place to check out is,
maybe your competitors have claimed their business online everywhere they can and you haven’t. So when a potential client “Google’s” a business similar to yours they pop up and you don’t.
By the way, claiming your business on line doesn’t cost you a thing other than a couple of hours of work. Which by the way, if you are spending time working on your business as we have been discussing you can knock this out pretty easily or maybe have a family member or friend do it for you.
Remember, the days of the yellow pages are gone. If you don’t take advantage of all the free exposure your company can get online, you are missing a great opportunity. We will actually have an episode on this coming soon. But for now, look at your business compared to others.
Listen, Competition is healthy and it will help you take your business to the next level as long as you use what you learn to keep standing out from them. Which begs the question…
Do you stand out from your competition? When was the last time you took the time to develop a game plan to ensure you did?
If it has been a while, don’t you think it is about time?
Listen, your competition is in business for a reason. Your mission is to figure out why. What are they doing well? Why do folks continue to use them?
No matter how good you get, no matter how big you get, never let your ego get in the way of your watching your competition and realizing they will always have something to teach you. They will always be keeping you on your toes.
Even if they are horrible at somethings, they might be fantastic and others.
So, here is your action plan for this episode. Over the next week or two, really study your competition. Make notes of what they do well and what they are do poorly. What is the community saying about them? What do people love about them and what do they hate?
Then, once you start forming a great idea of what they are doing, your mission during one of your weekly sit down sessions of working ON your business is to start to formulate a game plan on how you can use this information to take your business to the next level?
Then from now going forward, keep gathering information and using it to your advantage.
Well that is it for today’s episode. Hopefully you got a few ideas you can use in your business to help take it to the next level.
Now, next week I hope to start working in your questions into the podcast. I have a few ideas I might try but it really will come down to us growing the podcast and getting more and more questions. As the questions grow so will the question segments.
So don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the speakpipe button or just shoot me an email. Maybe you will be featured on one of the future episodes.
Remember if you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5-star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
See you on our next episode…Bye for now…..
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Episode Show Notes: Episode 6 – Local Small Business Coach Podcast
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