Chances are if you've come up with an innovative business idea or model, somebody is eventually going to copy you, if they haven't already. Here are some financial tips to help you stay at the top of the field.
Use the neighborhood
In some cases you may have specific demographic groups at your disposal. As Inc. magazine pointed out in a recent article, you should try and target those in close proximity to your business to draw in local traffic, and they in turn will refer more customers via word of mouth, especially if you can make the product or service as appealing to the broadest group possible.
For information on your neighborhood you don't have to rely simply on driving around in the car and hoping you can ascertain who lives near your company. Inc. magazine recommends use of government resources like the federal Census Bureau or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as they offer websites with readily-available information to help you see who's living in surrounding blocks.
Stand by your product
You did it first, so do it best. Just like you stand by your community bank, so will residents stand by a local business that adheres to high standards and good customer service. Advertise your quality and be sure your clients know you were doing it first and still do it better than anybody else. Jean Paul Lafaye said in an interview with Economic Times that a competitor might inundate the market with advertising for a sub-par product, but consumers will quickly judge quality for themselves. Stand by what you have and be confident.
This strategy can take time to pay off and the benefits may not become apparent immediately, Inc. magazine points out. If you have faith in the product or service you offer and do your utmost to make those qualities apparent to your customers, in time you should see stabilization in revenue and a return to profits.
Breaking down barriers
If shouting praises for your business from the rooftops isn't working on its own, try making your product more interesting. As Lafaye points out in the Times, brand awareness and marketing will increase customer loyalty and drive future sales, so don't outright change what you've already got – your competition is probably already doing that. While they attempt to find a niche in the market you've established, Inc. magazine recommends trying instead to come up with a complimentary product or service to branch out on the success you already have.
For instance, some banks offer online banking, but to increase visibility and make the experience more inclusive and appealing, they may introduce a mobile banking solution to provide customers with more access and flexibility. Considering current trends and technologies is helpful, and incorporating the existing business plan as you grow will help you beat your competition.