How Can New Businesses Compete?
When they’re just starting out, one of the major challenges new businesses face is competing with mature, established brands who have deep pockets and an established group of loyal customers.
Without those resources and that existing reputation, carving out a slice of your own market share can look like an impossible task. Fortunately, making a name for yourself is very achievable, and that’s exactly what we’re looking at today.
One of the most important things you can do is work with a market research agency from day one. Getting insights from experts means you can identify your audience and target them with more precision, commit to campaign planning with real confidence of success, and ensure your marketing, products and even the attitude of your staff is tailored to your market.
Research also helps you track the success of your endeavours as you go. In the early days of a business you can afford to be agile, changing tack to try and capture the most customers you can. Maintaining tracking on your marketing efforts, the success of your products and customer experiences in-store and on your website allow you to course-correct on decisions that aren’t working for you.
Creating a clear, comprehensible and attractive brand is one of the early aims for a new business. You need to decide early on what the key values of your business are and stick with them, because these will inform almost every other decision you will take. Your brand is built up out of conscious branding – the tone of voice in your copy, the images on posters – but also from every instance in which customers interact with your business, for good or ill. A single salesperson going above and beyond to help someone find what they want can help to build your brand. A single delayed shipment can undermine it.
Consistency is one of the keys to successful branding, where every part of your business is consistent with the stated values of your brand. This is where you have an advantage over bigger, more established businesses. With no history, and a tight focus on your initial offering, it’s easier for you to ensure all aspects of your business are pulling in the same direction and presenting a clear picture to customers of a business where they ought to be spending their money.
Key Corporate Values
This is also your opportunity for you to set values for the corporate side of your business that help you find success: you have a small, close team, and the decisions you make in these early days can affect your business for years to come.
Setting an early commitment to diverse hiring, for example, will result in years to come, in a company with a broad base of knowledge and experience that’s better able to respond to a variety of changing circumstances. Making your most important metric profitability and retention (of both customers and revenue) rather than simply the amount money coming into your business helps to guard you against short-termism, and ensure you’re building a business that will endure in the long term.