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Competition Means Many Things

Competition Means Many Things

The questions often come up… “who’s your competition?” or it’s close cousin “what’s your challenge getting to prospects?” As a startup, it’s all too often tempting to say “we don’t have competition” but everyone knows that’s wishful thinking. Everyone competes even if you think you don’t.

“Is Square your competition?”

It’s nice to have marketing money, that’s for sure. Whether you’re selling against Amazon in your small business or, like SMBple, tackling the sandbox that Square, PayPal, and so many others are already playing in, you’re competing with that money first and foremost. Even if you have regional opponents that are larger than you, they’re likely outspending you. It’s certainly a challenge.

What’s the answer to the heading question for SMBple, then? Well, we only compete in a narrow niche: SMBple Sell also allows you to collect credit card payments on your mobile device. Beyond that, the conversation should go in a different direction: “does your small business have all the customers it wants?”, “are you satisfied with your customer LTV (long-term value)?”, “are you generating enough passionate repeat visitors?”

“How are you different from [_________]?”

Every business should have its uniqueness. Does yours? You may be new and your competitor established but that doesn’t mean you can’t stand out. Do you stock certain exclusive items (or even better, make exclusive items)? Maybe you have a different take on freshness, recipes, or customer service? Perhaps you offer niche skills that can’t easily be found elsewhere? If not, look for opportunities to make this happen. It may take significant time and effort; that’s fine, as long as you believe the commitment will benefit your clientele. If you do have these competitive differences already, how do you present those benefits when you get in front of prospects?

Specifically then, how does SMBple answer this question? At the heart of the matter, SMBple “enables relationships through tools”. The “big guys” effectively start and end at variants of “take payments”. Getting paid is an opportunity, not an end-point. From ease of use (how much confusion is there on the customers’ faces when they check out) to speed and accuracy (more throughput means happier customers and employees) to seamlessly managing an ongoing connection to your customers (your mailing list is a business asset – quit giving it away!), SMBple solidifies the positive customer experience by being faster and easier on the customer and by handing your business the information it needs to maintain the relationship (for example, opt-in mailing list addresses).

“<CRICKETS>”

Both of these sections so far presume that a conversation is even happening. What happens when it appears you’re shouting into the void with only crickets for a response? Assuming your business can’t match the marketing muscle of your competition, it’s time to crank up the referral engine. If you really are different from [_______], there should be at least some paying customers willing to say that on your behalf. Have you asked them to do so? Do you reward them directly or indirectly? And what about the “referral to anyone who will listen” testimonials? Make your referrals and testimonials prominent whenever you do reach out, whether directly through newsletters or postcards, or indirectly through social media and other advertising.

Speaking of reaching out, that’s what is happing right here. Provide interesting content to your audience. (If this isn’t interesting, let us know.) Give your customers a reason to interact with you. (Let us know if you think this is interesting, too.) Use the opportunity to point out your referrals or testimonials. Point out the ways you’re different than [________] and how those differences help your prospects live better lives or grow businesses. Bonus points if your prospects agree with you! (Do you agree with SMBple about this?)

Competition means many things

It doesn’t matter how helpful your product or service is if no one knows about it. The other businesses that may do similar things as you do are only part of the issue in this FaceTwitGram world of constant bombardment. Your business has to be so many things in addition to your goods or services; that’s where SMBple belongs. We’re not the “big guys” because SMBple’s success comes from being focused on the success of your business.