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Better Your Business By Learning From The Competition

Apr 11, 2008
It is easy for business owners to visit the competition and point out everything they are doing wrong. For one thing, what they are doing wrong is only in your opinion and how it contrasts with how you plan to do things. Additionally, if they are successful, they may be doing more things right than you give them credit for, or else they would have probably folded years ago. To truly learn from your competition, you need to look at what they are doing right before you try to steal away any of their market share.

In today's business climate, with most businesses have an online presence, it is easy enough to check pricing on many products and services. However, in many instances pricing is going to be fairly close and businesses rarely succeed and grow based solely on their pricing structure. Any customer you attract based only on the price of your products or services will be a customer lost when lower prices become available elsewhere.

If you are hoping to have any impact on your market share you have to be willing to look objectively at another similar business as their customers see them. Since online businesses can be represented with many faces based on their web page design, you can get a better idea by visiting their traditional outlets to learn how they do business as well as what they do to keep their customers happy and coming back for more.

Look for the little things that may seem insignificant but affect how their customers feel about the store. Cleanliness is one of the most common complaints from customers who often equate a dirty or messy unorganized store with lack of service as well as lack of quality in the products they sell. One key area in all public outlets that can quickly bring a customer back or run them out the door is the cleanliness of any public restrooms. If you allow the restroom to go unattended, customers will have unmentionable opinions about how the business is run, and probably will only come back if it is absolutely necessary.

Check out their display merchandise to see if it is working. Many customers want to touch and feel a product before making the decision to buy it, and even though an open product may sell for less when it comes off the display, making customers base their buying decision from the picture on a box is not going to get it done. If you set up displays, many should be in perfect working order. Obviously, for safety reasons there are some that should not be working, such as chain saws or most power equipment, but all the parts need to be there so the customer can see what they are getting for their money.

Friendly, knowledgeable service is probably the most important selling point for any business. Letting the customer know all the good things about a product they are interested in may require you to actually look at the owner's manual, but it can translate into a sale rather than an empty promise by the customer to stop in later.
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