When you think of competitors to your business, you probably only think of other companies, in the same industry. Obviously, if you own an auto repair shop, other auto repair shops are your competition. These are direct competitors because they are targeting your exact customer with the exact same product or service.
However, there are other competitors for your customers money. They may not be direct competitors but they still compete for your customers attention and money.
Sticking with the auto repair example, other competition can be a car dealer who talks the customer into getting a new car, rather than repairing the old one. Public transit, deciding to just ride a bike for a while, etc. Not to mention all the other things in their life they would rather pay for, than fixing the car.
It’s important to be aware of these other competitors and know what you can do about them.
How to Beat the Other Competition
To beat this other competition, you must have a complete approach to your sales and marketing. Having great customer service, great facilities, great prices, great guarantees, etc., can be very useful when your customer is comparing you to the direct competition. It’s not as useful however, when comparing you to the other competition.
In this case, you must convince them, they need or want your service, more than the other places they can spend their money.
For example, what are the benefits of repairing a car vs buying a new one? Why is it important to fix a vehicle right away vs waiting and using other transportation methods?
I’ve worked with a lot of martial arts schools and one thing we always go over, is how many activities are competing with their business. It’s not just the other martial arts schools. It’s baseball, football, swimming lessons, gym memberships, etc. There’s a ton of things their market can choose to spend their money on, instead of learning martial arts.
It’s important to be able to address these things. To not only show why you are the best martial arts school but also why it is more important than all those other things.
Work With the Other Competition
A smart way to deal with this other competition, is to find ways to work with them or use them in your advertising.
I did this successfully with a martial arts school. We knew baseball was a competitor for their customers money. So we did some research on how martial arts can help baseball players and which major league baseball players have done martial arts. We used this data to show enrolling in martial arts classes, would elevate the players game. We listed out all the ways it helps and which pro players have done this. We then put all this info into a flyer with an offer and passed it out at the local baseball league.
You can also do a joint venture with a league nearby , do some advertising there and be a part of their program.
Knowing this competition existed, allowed us to create a plan that used it to our advantage.
Take a look at your market and see what other areas they are spending money, instead of with you. What can you do to convince them, they should be doing business with you as well?