Julian’s Business Tips: Take your competitors to the cleaners

Julian’s Business Tips: Take your competitors to the cleaners

How are you supposed to plan your business when there is so much uncertainty going on?

Covid-19, the restarting economy, party politics – is now the time to sit tight, or to be bold?

During the 2010 recession, I remember small business telling me that they would begin active marketing when they were ‘coming out of the recession’. But why wait? That groundswell has to start somewhere, why not with you?

Sitting and waiting just leaves the door open for competitors to steal a march. Uncertain times are perfect opportunities to grow your business – but to succeed, you need to be brave, and you need to do your homework.

I remember a controversial speaker telling his audience that, if a competitor came along and offered your customers more of what they wanted, that was your fault. What do you think about that?

He said it was your fault for sitting on your hands and also your fault for not understanding your customers – for not realising you weren’t giving them exactly what they wanted.

He went on to tell the story of an established dry cleaning business (in the USA) that was threatened by a new competitor – both companies offering good quality cleaning.

The established company updated their décor, put in easy chairs and coffee machines to offer a home-from-home experience for their clientele. Does that sound sensible?

The competitor, on the other hand, put in a drive-through window and took a majority of the town’s business.

It transpired that the customer base had moved on – the majority of customers wanted to spend less time collecting their dry cleaning, not more, so they could get on with their busy lives.

So do your research, understand your customer and be courageous – you’ll be sure to clean up!