Are you standing out from the crowd?
It would be easy at the moment to sit back and do nothing with your business. If your business is client-facing you might feel that anything you do now is a waste of time.
But this time will soon be over. Now is a perfect time to engage with existing customers and innovate new ideas so when the lockdown is over, you can stand out from the crowd. We know you might have to juggle home-schooling and housework but spending a few hours week on your business will pay dividends later! Rarely is a business unique and has zero competition. We all have competitors or people who do something like us.
Here are some ideas to ensure you are standing out from the crowd!
- Research the competition Firstly, look at your industry generally and do a detailed analysis.
What are other businesses offering?
What do they charge?
How does their website look?
How many social media followers do they have?
Next look at your local area?
Who are you competing with locally?
What are they offering, and how are they interacting now online?
2. Review your website
How does your website compare to other businesses in your area and industry?
Can clients book online?
How good is the user experience?
3. Review your reviews!
How does your business stack up again the local competition?
How many online reviews do you have?
Now is the time to ask and incentivise customers to leave a review. Offer a discount on their next appointment if they leave a review
4. That ONE thing!
What is the ONE thing you need to do to get your business noticed?
Now is the time to work out how you can stand out and offer something no one else is doing! Do a brainstorm and think about some ideas as once you have done competitor research you will have a much clearer idea of what they do and how you can do something different.
5. Training needs
If you have furloughed yourself, you can still do training. Assess your weak points. The areas you might want to consider are
- Accounts – online accounting, online payments
- Processes – Email Marketing, Databases
- Social Media- Twitter Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- Marketing – Marketing plans and ideas
- Business Plans- writing and developing a strategy and a plan
- Website – how to create and maintain a website
- Industry training – can you do any online training to add to your list of services?
6. Touch base with your customers
They might not be booking now, but it is so important to touch base with them.
- Can you create a Facebook group for customers to interact with them?
- Send them an email with tips and ideas
- Arrange a zoom chat
- Send a card with a note and an offer for when the lockdown is lifted.
- Send a small gift to thank them for their business
- Organise a competition or giveaway
7. Send your story to the press.
The press is looking for stories to feature. Are you doing something innovative during the lockdown? If you have something newsworthy, then create a press release and send to your local paper, local BBC radio station, local radio, and online magazines. Do not keep it to yourself!
These ideas if implemented, will keep you ahead of the competition and ensure you are noticed. Things will gradually return to normal and use the time you have wisely to plan and prepare for the next phase of 2020. It would be great if you could emerge from this as a stronger business.