Would you feel threatened if a large, multinational chain in your sector opens a branch down the street from your small business? Big box competition might not be your only threat; online vendors may offer better pricing. If you feel caught between two bullies, you need a game plan that lets you stand your ground. Your survival and success depend on this call to innovate.

You can turn perceived threats into challenges. Be proactive; implement change before it's needed. If you can adapt to changing market conditions, you can make your business stronger. Focus on your brand, your customers and your accessibility to make your business stand out.

Focus on the product or service

  • Consider increasing the quality of your offerings. If you can't beat the competition's prices, develop specialties, perhaps with an emphasis on the higher end.
  • Develop an Build customer relationships and add delivery service. If your customers can't come to you, be ready to go to them.
  • Continue to expand your reach through promotional efforts.

Focus on the people

  • innovative business activities in person. Use social media to enhance both your physical and online presence.
  • Counter automation and a big box atmosphere with customized service. Going the extra mile builds loyalty.
  • Appeal to your customers' values and sense of community by participating in worthwhile local events. Doing business locally holds much appeal, so make yourself known within the community to raise the profile of your business.
  • For better customer service, look after your employees. Offer better wages, benefits and working conditions than your competition.

Focus on the experience

  • Offer an experience that adds value that cannot be found elsewhere. Differentiation will make your business stand out from the others.
  • Keep your customers from using your premises to examine the merchandise and then buying online from someone else by enticing them with the experience. Make them feel compelled to buy from you.
  • Be creative — rotate displays, implement themes, change menus.

Not being able to eliminate your competition can be a good thing. Challenges come your way to make you stronger. Take advantage of these wake-up calls to innovate and come out on top. Let us help you to engage in online transactional component and identify opportunities arising from your current business.