In today’s business world, it can be a daunting task to stand out in the crowd and more so to remain relevant and retain your clients. When what you have to offer becomes stale, you need to adapt and adopt. Ideas are out there for you to grab and to iterate and iterate and iterate. The competition can be overwhelming as new and similar businesses emerge every day. As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to stay relevant if not your clients might just move over to the new business next door or down the street.
Here are a few tips on how you can stay relevant while retaining your customers amidst competition:
REMAIN AUTHENTIC: in the midst of competition many entrepreneurs forget who they are and what makes them different and run after what they think makes the competition stand out. You need to remember what attracted your clients to you in the first place and ensure that is still being communicated through your service or product offering. Your true self and purpose must come across at all times. Your clients need to be reminded why they have to keep on trusting you and not turn to the competition.
REINVENT YOUR BRAND: this sounds scary but before you flip let me explain what I mean. We humans have short lived attention span and easily get bored when we see or receive the same thing every day. Our curiosity will be aroused if someone comes up with something fresh or new and the chances of us moving on with the new is high. While you can’t in most cases invent a new product, you can innovate in your service or product offering. You need to think and come up with up to date ways of presenting your services to your client without changing the core content and message of your brand.
STAY UP TO DATE: with the advent of the internet, information has become accessible to everyone with a click of the mouse. Innovations and inventions are being made every day in different fields. You need to ensure that you are up to date with the latest inventions and innovations in your field of endeavor. You don’t want your competition to take advantage of your ignorance and swindle your clients. Personally, what I do is I subscribed to receive google alerts every day on everything written or going on about personal branding and communication. I receive links to new articles written, what people are saying or thinking, what events are holding and where etc. This has helped me discover who the key actors are, who are those emerging, what their take is etc. with that I review my content and ensure it is representative of what the concept is all about but I do so with my core purpose and intent at the center of it all.
CONNECT WITH YOUR CLIENTS: it is often said that people do business with people and I am one of those who truly believe this. I believe the heart of every business are the people. You need to be able to create a connection between you and your clients. Clients look for the ‘humanness’ in every business. A client will most likely go towards the business that will relate with them with a sense of belonging than the bottled neck business that are only about its profits. You can connect with your clients by maybe sending them personalsed notes or emails on their birthdays or any special days you are aware of. You can organize mini events where you meet with clients and inquire about their needs and how you an better serve them. This will create a bond beyond just business but a sense of belonging. Such clients are most likely to stick around even if competition rises.
ADVERTISE: Though you want to retain old clientele, there is also the need to stay visible. Like I said earlier on, clients tend to forget really quick and if you are in a service or sector where clients consume your products or services with long intervals like the optical sector for example where clients usually come after one year, you need to constantly spread the news about your services to attract new clientele. Your previous or old clients can be good brand ambassadors if you have a strong connection with them. Their testimonials will e genuine ad authentic and you can leverage that to attract more paying clients. You could advertise in local papers, tv appearances, Facebook adverts, networking events etc
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: Having said all, this is the most important. If you cannot believe in yourself and what you are offering as product or service no one else will and you will be drowned by the pressure of competition. There are thousands, millions of talented people out there and they are doing amazing things. In the midst of all this you must be able to believe in your uniqueness and your ability to give a touch or approach that is true to you alone. There are over 7 billion people in the world and of these over 7 billion people, there are no two finger prints that are the same. This should tell you something about yourself. You are UNIQUE! While you are not the first nor will you be the last to be doing what you are doing, you are the only one who can do it the way you are doing this. This sense of awareness of your uniqueness will take away every pressure of competition and will permit you channel your energy to what is important.
The world is moving faster and faster and it’s up to you to be adaptable. Stay as long as necessary to polish your work. However, when the signs are there, that the world is passing you by, make the adjustments. Always ask yourself if what you are producing is creating more joy for you or simply being a burden. Staying relevant in your business and retaining your clientele amidst competition can be easy when you take your eyes off the competition and focus on the core message of your business and how you an better communicate it to your clients so they can have memorable experiences.