How Do You Respond to a New Competitor? Six Options

Situation: A company performs service that is primarily locally-based.  A competitor is establishing a new site less than two miles from the company’s location, offers a broader array of services and is larger than the company. How can the company protect its business by responding to this new competition?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Your most important asset is understanding what you are doing right, and what is most important to your customers.  Remember that business is more than just a product or service. It’s a relationship. Your customers depend upon your for more than just what you offer for sale. Reach out to your customers for these answers. Make sure that you respond to their needs. As a benefit you may also find new growth opportunities.
  • Ask current customers whether you need to expand your service offering, or whether your current offering and lead time is acceptable to them. Ask how their needs are changing and how you can better serve them.
  • Reestablish the connection to your customer and listen. Preempt new competition by contacting your customer base before the competitor gains a stronghold.
  • Study your options and avoid knee-jerk reactions.  You may be in better shape that you think.
  • Major retailers and service companies have moved into many locations. Local businesses who survive their presence do so because they are focused on their customers’ needs and are better at serving the customers that the big companies are.
  • Invest in key components of your business relationships:  services, payment terms, responsiveness, your facilities, and so forth.

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