In order to keep your business afloat, you need to fight tooth and nail. No matter what line of business you’re in, it’s never easy being your own boss, owning your own company – being an entrepreneur. You need every edge you can get over your competitors – and if they are ahead of you, you need to be completely honest and ask yourself why.
The market may not be in the best situation it has ever been, pointless tariffs are popping up, the politicians are corrupt… this all may be true (in fact, it probably is true), but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to focus and to change.
Poor Social Media Marketing
If it isn’t online, it doesn’t exist. You may like this, you may not, but it’s true. However, having a website is not enough – you need real online media presence. Having a website was once an advantage, but now, it’s a necessity. This is where social media kicks in.
In order to promote yourself properly, in order to get the most out of your advertising efforts, you need to set up proper social media pages and accounts. While you don’t need to on every social media platform under the sun, you should definitely set up Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, if your business centres on anything where visual appeal matters (from photography to clothing, to drywall) you need to get Instagram.
However, just having an account is not enough. You also need to curate it properly. You can’t just set up a couple of accounts, and you’re done – nope, you need to do it properly. First of all, triple check all the basic information you put on your pages. This means: check the location, the name, contact info, working hours… All the basic and tedious stuff that will make you seem extremely unprofessional if you don’t place it properly.
Next, post good and interesting content and promotion. This could mean promoting a new deal, a brand new line, or a specific service you offer. Perhaps you can show off some great checkpoints and achievements in your company’s history. Furthermore, you can post content relevant to your field – this will attract people to your social media platform, and will do wonders for your SEO.
Neglecting Merchandising and General Offline Marketing
However, it’s not all about online – the second mistake people make. As we said, online marketing is important, but doing only that will just get you into trouble. You need to do offline marketing as well. Now, you have your standard fare marketing tactics like getting a billboard, an ad in the paper, a commercial on TV. However, all of these are rather expensive or even ineffective (who reads the paper anymore, anyway?). That’s why we suggest you get a bit creative.
One of the tactics you could do is get custom t shirts made, with your company’s logo. You can hand out these t shirts (and hats, and stickers, whatever you want) around town – this will certainly attract customers. Another offline marketing tactic is speaking at events. You may notice your competitors are attending many conferences connected to your field. Not only should you visit them, you should also try to get a speaking engagement there. You (or a representative) will surely leave an impression not only towards the competition but to potential clients as well.
Another thing you could try is to give back to the community. Sponsor an event or a local sports team. People will certainly remember you then. Hand out business cards, network, mingle… just get out there and interact with people and spread the word about your business.
Not Going the Extra Mile
Let’s face it, perhaps the reason others are out-competing you is that they work more. This may not be something anybody wants to hear, but it ends up being true quite often. But, the best time to start is yesterday, and the second best – now! There are a couple of things you can always do.
You need to give your all and provide the best possible customer service. If needed, write up a script for your employees, but have them always greet people with a smile and a handshake. Make your customers feel appreciated. Try to remember your customers’ preferences, some personal stuff, anything that deepens your relationship. Next, try to unique – create your own brand, your own style – something that makes you stand out.
Always strive for greatness. If you really want to be the best, you need to sacrifice sleep and fun and invest that time into doing more and working more. Get up earlier than everybody else, go out and grind, then be the last one to leave. Serve as an example to your employees, get them just a little more motivated, a little more inspired.
These were just a couple of reasons why your competitors may be outshining you. There is no need to point the finger or to blame anybody (not even yourself). Just take a good hard look at how your company is performing, observe what the competition is doing right (see what they’re doing wrong), and you’ll definitely find success. Just remember – you need to be honest with yourself if you want to change.
Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across the Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.