Competition in business is inevitable…deal with it!
The worst thing you can do when starting out is to look at your competition as a threat. That will start you, your attitude and your subconscious mind off on completely the wrong footing.
Look at competition for ideas and inspiration.
One thing I learned a long time ago when getting into marketing is that I would rather enter into a strong, crowded market than a bare, desolate one.
Think about it.
If you come across a market that is empty and void of products or sales, the chances are there is a reason for that, especially in these “internet” and “small world” times. It more often than not means there IS no market for that product or service unless you happen to come across an amazing idea, concept or product that simply hasn’t been discovered yet.
What about the opposite?
You stumble into a bustling market that is heaving with products, services, salespeople and buyers. Would you rather take a small piece of a huge pie or would you rather have the entire pie with no filling?
A crowded market means business. All you need to do is take some of it using everything we discuss here.Be nicer than everyone else. Give more for less. Be humble, polite and professional…take your time.
Here is a story that I have told in other sections of All Things Photography which seems appropriate to mention again here.
However, we thought it a good idea to attend one in order to try and capture some business.
We booked into the Sandown Racecourse Wedding Fair in Esher, Surrey and set about preparing ourselves.
This was a big event in a very affluent part of the UK, in fact, here is a picture (left) of the original team back then, at Sandown Racecourse…I am in the middle (dodgy hair alert):
We had no idea what was in store and did no research…big mistake.
When we arrived with our small, wall-papering table with a backdrop for tablecloth, 2 albums and a bouquet of flowers, we very nearly dropped the lot and left.
Inside, already prepared and waiting were some of the most exuberant stalls I had seen. Huge, “larger than life” prints, numerous classy wedding albums and professional equipment everywhere.
We dumped our gear and went outside for an emergency meeting
Rather than “legging it”, we finally decided to stick it out with a plan. My brother and I would stay on the stall and Andy, the cheeky, friendly chap in the red jacket, would stand by the entrance to welcome everyone with a huge smile and usher them over to us. It worked a treat!
At the end of the show we had a few weddings booked and other photographers were asking us how we were so busy all day!
People wanted us at their wedding because we were professional, unassuming, polite, well dressed and it just so happened that they liked the photos too. It was all about US and NOT how big we could ruffle our feathers.
It was all to do with attitude, appearance, adaptation and a fearless determination to just get stuck in regardless of the competition! That was our USP or Unique Selling Point!
It may take a while but stick with it and the business will come…don’t give up and don’t expect it to happen overnight. The best businesses with longevity have firm, well built foundations.
From the outset, you should try to create your own unique selling point. Make parts of your business better value, better quality and better serviced in order to capture a larger piece of the market. Look at all areas of your business and think about how you can make it more appealing and unique!
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