Competition Can Be Tough: Dealing With Competitors That Undercut You
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We’re taking a break this week from our conference series, but I know you’ll find today’s article by Tamiya King very helpful, especially if you’ve ever lost business to another organizer who charges lower rates than you, or who has badmouthed you or your business.
Starting and maintaining a successful business can be rewarding — but it’s not always easy. It doesn’t matter if your business is based on selling software programs or you are a professional organizer, as your business grows and becomes increasingly successful there will be some natural and built-in areas of concern.
Competition is a part of owning a business; there could be times when a competitor may attempt to undercut your prices, which can make it look as though you overcharge for your services, and in the end this can lead to the loss of clients and even a tarnished reputation.
Here are some tips for staying ahead of the competition while remaining in good standing with potential and existing customers.
Keep Your Prices Steady
One tactic that competitors may use against you is to price their services lower than yours to attract more customers. It’s important that you don’t let this upset you and cause you to lower your prices as well. In fact, this is the time to emphasize the quality of the products and services your business provides.
Remember, when you’re dealing with business competition, particularly from companies who are seeking to tarnish your reputation to make themselves look better, consistency is important. Determining how much to charge for your services can be a rather complicated process, after all, the rate you charge should be based on everything that goes into your services. This can include your experience and training.
When you keep your prices the same, you send a message to established and would-be customers that what you provide is worth the price. In fact, there are some real benefits to publishing your rates. This is one way to ensure clients that you are straightforward with your prices and that you are comfortable with the value you place on your services. It is also an effective way to ‘pre-screen’ clients.
Do not retaliate when a company attempts to compete with you or to tarnish your reputation. This will only result in a marketing battle that will turn customers away from your business.
Instead, defend your products and services by pointing out their best features and emphasizing that your company is committed to providing quality in both inventory and customer service. It’s also a great idea to emphasize your business’ community involvement or work with local charities. Rather than getting into a marketing battle it is always best to focus on positives.
Don’t simply offer lower prices or free gifts because your competitor is doing so. This may give your customers the impression that you are more concerned with looking good to other businesses than maintaining a favorable reputation with consumers. The goal is to bring more positive attention to your business instead of placing negative attention on your company and competitors.
Study the Competition
While service providers are generally supportive of one another, some types of businesses are extremely competitive. In order to be prepared for ruthless competition, you’ll need to study the companies that could pose the greatest threat to your professional advancement. Access records about your competitor’s marketing strategy and branding. Study the ways the company attracts customers. While you shouldn’t spend more time doing this than you spend working to improve your own company, knowing how the competition works will help arm you with the right tactics for keeping your company competitive and its reputation clean.
Keep in mind that rather than lowering your prices to compete, it is generally wiser to focus on the quality of your services and products. The simple truth is, anyone can offer low prices, but only top notch companies can deliver high quality services and products.
Wrapping Things Up
When a competitor is undercutting your prices it can be easy to ‘give in’ to temptation and lower your prices too. Don’t. This can send the message that your prices may have been too high.
Competition is part of business, but there are strategic ways to deal with it. One of the most important considerations for any business is determining the rates you will charge. After you make a decision about rates you feel are fair you should stick with them. The main focus should be on the quality of your services and/or products, not on prices.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net