Launching a company is the easy part, but the real challenge is to grow a company in an extremely saturated and competitive market. The struggle lies in creating the perfect market penetration strategy and think up new business ideas to get a firm foothold in the industry.
You have just taken the leap and started a business based on your passion. But your industry is already saturated with several thousands of other businesses with a similar vision and product/service. Yours is not an untapped market, but you can still carve a niche for yourself in a saturated market. In a saturated market, there are already many other companies and businesses that are serving your target customers.
For instance, there are several hundreds of vehicle models targeting a specific segment, but new models are still emerging and are successful.
How do they do it?
Here are the top tips for how to grow a company in a competitive market
Creating a Successful Business Plan to Grow a Company
If you fail to plan, you are in effect planning to fail. While considering new business ideas, you need a business plan for funding and also for effective management of your business, as it sets goals, resources etc. required for your business.
- Create your business plan outline keeping your target audience and their needs in mind.
- Describe your company. Write about your background, experience, details of the founders, their roles, the number of employees and so on.
- Analyse the competition, the expenditure, mention your service/product line and how it will help your target consumers.
- Make realistic financial projections and requests for funding in your marketing plan.
Change Your Business Approach
- Add innovations and new technology to your product to make it better than the competition.
- Offer a value added service, such as rewards program to grow a company.
- If the product is price sensitive, make changes to your pricing strategies and lower the prices.
Tip: Remember, sometimes a higher price could be more attractive to consumers, as they perceive that the product offers a higher quality or value.
- Use Influencers to promote your products and enhance brand marketing.
- Make the buying process a simple one, so that the customer does not waste time. For instance, offer a mobile app option or an e-commerce website option for purchasing. Create a website as it offers an easy mode of shopping.
- Try direct mail marketing; email marketing; email newsletters and so on as part of your market development strategy.
You might think meeting your customers’ needs is the end all of customer service. Not true! There’s more to marketing campaign. Strive for more.
- Help your customers in locating products in order to grow a company.
- Answer questions.
- Make them feel valued and special.
- Be accessible and friendly. Remember the word spreads around.
- Try email campaigns to promote your product. Get feedback by contacting people through your email list; surveys or in person through conversation.
- Create an online presence and offer promotions, lines of communication, and generally enhance the customer interaction.
How to Market your Business? Discover your Unique Selling Point/Brand Strategy
This will help you distinguish your company from the rest of the competition.
- Discover your USP! Pinpoint it to improve your marketing policy and grow a company.
- Check out the competition, their ads, marketing messages and how they use their USP to advantage.
Note: Revlon always claims that it sells Hope and not just makeup. Some companies sell friendliness, others punctuality, some luxury and some bargains (read Walmart).
- Think about what would make your target customers come back to you again.
- Can you offer them more convenience; cleanliness; courteousness?.
Tip: Drop into the competitor’s shops and check out how they sell their products/services.
Tapping into Change
You don’t necessarily have to blaze a brand new trail. Just view your target industry and check out any voids that you can fill.
- Give your business an edge and grow a company by recognizing what is changing with consumer needs.
- Spot the gaps in what the competition is offering and fill it in by offering the service/product.
Note: Starbucks was surely not the first coffee business, but they added a new twist: a new EXPERIENCE with the coffee! They tapped into the community or comfort element.
Older companies are fixed in their standards and find it difficult to change their long standing services, whereas a new company like yours with a smaller organisation can quickly offer a new business model and service.
- Think of new products that you can offer the same markets.
- Offer the same product to a different geographic area.
- Offer the same products to a new target group.
- Target a common inconvenience and offer a simple solution. For instance, sippy cups solve the issue of clumsy babies who spill their drinks. Taking this further, offer eco friendly sippy cups.
Use of Influencers
More and more buyers are now depending on influencers to offer credibility to your product. When you say it, it’s marketing and customers might be skeptical, but when an influencer says it, he has a fan base that believes in him and can spread the word to a wider audience. It is an overall shift in consumer trends and you have to tap into it while trying out a promotional mix. It offers social proof for your product quality.
70% of teenagers subscribing to YouTube believe in influencers.
- Use industry experts to endorse your product, give a quality review that can reach the end customer.
- Use search tools for identifying influencers in your industry to pinpoint the right voice for selling your product.
- Use influencers for improving your social media presence, increasing your market reach and drive more traffic to your website/blog to grow a company.
Business Intelligence Tools
It is difficult to assess your business data manually these days. There are innumerable business intelligence tools that you can use for analysing data and convert the results into a new business opportunity.
- Do not merely rely on gut feelings or intuitions.
- Gather data from social media. Get results on trends, real time updates and forecasts.
- Use business intelligence tools and software to find out what your target customers’ purchasing patterns.
- Check out the best email marketing software to attract and retain customers and grow a company.
Note: For instance, Gilt made use of an online tool for getting information on its customers shopping history and browsing habits. It used this information for sending promotional emails and increased conversions.
Harvard Business Review states that it costs you 5 to 25 times more to bring in a new customers, as against retaining an old one.
- Increase customer satisfaction. Use trained and capable service reps.
Tip: Use small business CRM software to track and monitor customer communications. It can do wonders to improve customer satisfaction.
- Consider giving royalty programs so that your customers become repeat ones. Send a birthday special or give them points for referring a new customer and so on.
- Use an emailing strategy and send promotional offers like a Spa or Salon treatment.
Must Read – What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur
Partnerships with Companies
Competition exists everywhere, but there are strategies to turn competitors into friends.
- Check out for a collaboration with a competitor that could prove mutually beneficial. For instance, Motorola entered into a partnership with Toshiba in the semiconductor markets and Canon partnered with Kodak to create a strong marketing position.
- You can emerge stronger from the alliance by learning new skills and technologies from your competitor. For instance, NEC has used collaboration to improve its technology.
It is one of the most important ways of promoting your business in a saturated market. 31.1% of customers like to receive promotional content through email, rather than through social media or a printed ad.
- Use emails to connect with your target audience.
- Add an email signup form on your website and build relationships.
- Check out sign up form mobile apps and share information with your clients.
- Subscribers are likely to share the email with others bringing in new audiences for your product.
- Email marketing increases traffic to your website. Use videos to drive your audience to your website, promising them something more.
- Use powerful words on your subject lines to increase open rates and conversions.
It’s easy to start a new business but challenging to take it forward and make it a successful one. Attracting customers and retaining them is the crux of the issue. I agree succeeding in an oversaturated market is difficult, but if you use the right strategies you can succeed in setting your business ahead of the competition.
The best example of a saturated market is the T shirt industry. It needs a lot of creativity and adaptability to find an audience for your brand. Yet, a saturated market need not spell a dead end. It only means that there is great demand for the stuff. Create a perceived value for your product, focus on customer service and remain relevant to changing trends and you’ve certainly won the battle.
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