The advent of the Internet has allowed many smaller and niche businesses to establish themselves online and break into competitive markets. However, you will need to plan carefully and also develop an understanding of the Internet if you are to successfully push your way into the competitive online arena.
Here are some tips on breaking into and getting ahead in a new and established market:
1. Budget Carefully and Develop a Unique Brand
Unlike the old days, establishing a new business and breaking into a market isn’t simply a matter of printing flyers and brochures. Before locating funds or applying for a business loan, you will need to assess the running costs of your business, but also look into marketing expenses related to online promotions and campaigns in order to get your business seen.
The right branding is a significant part of any business’s success and, in addition to having a strong business and financial plan, you will need to develop a unique brand for your company that’s going to help you stand out in the marketplace. Assess how your main competitors are approaching their branding and work with your team to create an innovative brand, as well as a captivating website.
2. Consider the Competition and Offer Something Different
What are your key competitors doing in the marketplace? What’s their share of wallet and what’s their main customer base? Your competitors will give you a good idea of how the marketplace operates and how your business can ultimately ‘fit in’ amongst the others. Completing a SWOT analysis can be useful, as can developing solutions that specifically relate to industry issues.
Customers and buyers can react in different ways to new market businesses – but if you offer something different, they are much more likely to sit up and pay attention. Analyse the solutions and products your competitors are offering in the marketplace and consider how your services will be different or stand out from the masses. Competitive pricing, tailored solutions, automated services and targeting a new consumer group can give you a strong edge.
3. Utilise Social Media
Social media marketing is key to breaking into any market in these digital times and, in addition to your website, it’s vital that you are on top of your social media marketing. Make sure that you utilise the big outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus (as well as others), and produce engaging and targeted content to reach your audiences. Social media marketing will also influence the way your site ranks in search engines, so it needs to be a large part of your overall online marketing strategy.
4. Network with Leaders
There is no doubt that there are highly influential people in the industry you’re trying to break into – and these people can assist in helping you break into the marketplace. Network with these leaders and consider providing them with specialised services; this will benefit their businesses and it will give you a solid standing in the marketplace too. Industry conferences and trade shows are also fantastic networking opportunities.
5. Strive for Great Customer Service
Many large corporations (who will often be your main competitors) are great at creating products and marketing them, but not so great at customer service. Ensure that you build and maintain a strong customer service team, with detailed follow-ups and a ‘can do’ attitude to help maintain your presence and establish your business. Customer service can help you stand out from the crowd and can mean the difference between appealing to consumers and turning them away.