If you’re a business owner or you’re about to start a new business, you need to know that only 56% of new businesses started in 2014 made it to the fifth year of activity. Sounds tough, right? And what are the reasons behind their failure? The most commons are the lack of market need, competition, and poor marketing. My aim for this post is to ensure you’re ready to stand out from the competition by knowing and avoiding the most common challenges.
Ready? Let’s do it!
No Market for Your Product
You spent the last few weeks thinking about your big, hot idea. It’s an amazing product, no one’s doing anything similar and you’re certain everyone’s going to love it.
Why do you think you’ve never seen anything like that? Is your idea really that innovative or there’s something else? Before jumping in a new venture, be sure to perform deep market research, there’s nothing worse than developing a product that no one’s going to buy. First of all, you need to find out who your target audience is, researching Customer Segments and creating a Customer Persona. Are there enough people interested in your product? What are your closest competitors? Try to think outside of the box and take into consideration things like technological developments and trends that could affect your target audience.
Take your time researching the market deeply and you’ll save more money than you can think of. Thank me later!
Stand Out From The Crowd.
Another huge challenge when starting a new business is standing out from the competition. In the previous step, we talked about the lack of market for your product, but what if you’re starting a business in a competitive niche? Good news for you: when the competition rises, it creates awareness of the product. More the competition, more the awareness created, more sales! If your business falls in an evergreen niche, your problem won’t be how to find potential customers, but how to win them and overcome the competition. The key here is differentiation. Find your strength and start from there. As Simon Sinek says: “start with why”. Why people should buy from you instead of your competitors? Why are you the perfect fit for them? People are more likely to buy from companies they trust and admire, the ones who share their beliefs.
If you know your audience well, you can produce high-quality content that directly connects with them on an emotional level. This is by far the most effective way to avoid the competition trap because once the customers trust you and embrace your vision, you’ll find that prices won’t be that much of a problem. Of course, there are different ways to help you stand out from the competition. You can work on 3 key points:
Defining a clear mission and conveying a message to your audience is vital to establish a strong emotional connection with them. Build your business around your Why, let your customers enjoy your brand and become your loyal advocates. There is no advertising effective as a happy customer. Beating the competition here is done through on point branding, an accurate strategy, and highly-targeted advertising. Building a Brand and letting your customers love it takes time but it’s well worth the effort. If you want to stand out from the competition, focus on your branding!
What makes your product different from your competitors’? What problems does your product solve? Is your product above or under the standard price range for the category? These are all aspects you have to take into consideration when developing a product. If you want to beat the competition, your product needs to be better or at least less expensive, but that doesn’t always work well. Once you start lowering your prices to undercut the competitors, your margins will decrease and the customers will start looking at you as the cheapest one; the moment another competitor sets the price lower than you, you’re done. Remember to compete on quality and value, not price.
Do the customers enjoy buying your products? Is your process simple and customer-friendly? Customer care plays a big role in maintaining recurring customers and acquiring new ones. Be sure to let your customers know that you really care for them. To stand out from the competition, your Customer care must make wonders, here you can find 6 Examples of Good Customer Service
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider to stay ahead of the competition. Let’s do a quick recap.
1- Research the Market to find out if there is a need for your product
2- Take advantage of your competitors: study what they’re doing and offer more value to your customers
3- Brand yourself wisely: develop a strong brand that your customers will love. Here you can read more about Branding and why it is crucial for your business.
So, is your branding working properly?
I help companies and small business owners create effective brands through thoughtful Logo design and strategy. If you’re looking for someone to help you grow your business, let’s get in touch and we’ll find together the best solution for you.
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