There is this lady in the city I live in who has a similar business…
Is Someone Nibbling on Your Piece of the Pie?
Have you ever been to a banquet where the dishes keep coming out on either side of you?
You’re not quite sure if you should be taking your serving from the dish to the left or the right, and while you’re deciding, the plates have emptied. That’s no big deal if you’re a mature adult, but if you’re particularly hungry, a sense of panic can set in. “What if that guy across from me inhales all those spring rolls before I get to try one? What if I miss out altogether?” These are very real issues 😊.
The Fear Of Missing Out does dreadful things to human behaviour. All calm and sense of reason is replaced by an urgent need to be somewhere, or do something that will secure our involvement and all the perceived benefits that flow from it.
If other people in our industry are marketing in a particular way, then we may feel pressured to do the same. If we see another business owner doing well, our fears may lead us to believe that there will be no clients left for us. And it’s from that FOMO that unhealthy (and unattractive) forms of competition begin to emerge.
RELAX, THERE’S PLENTY TO GO AROUND.
Back in the days when business depended largely on foot-traffic and a good ad in the Yellow Pages, our potential market share was quite small. Fast forward to accessible internet, digital marketing, social media and online shopping, and we have a very different situation.
The business ‘pie’ we each want a piece of, has extended beyond our local community to a worldwide market. The size of our client base is really only limited by our imagination. And our piece of the pie depends more on standing out from the crowd, than battling with competitors over a small number of customers.
Shift yourself from the FOMO mentality.
So, how do we do that? How do we shift ourselves from the FOMO mentality, into something more attractive?
Here are my thoughts:
- Maintain your niche.
Lots of would-be competitors work happily in the same industry because they each appeal to a slightly different customer base. Having a clear niche is the easiest way to set you apart from others in your industry.
“It not only helps customers find the specific service they’re after, but it reminds you of why you’re special.”
As a solicitor that only works with Small Businesses, I have no trouble referring clients elsewhere if they need something that sits on the fringe of what I ordinarily offer. If I keep expanding my services, I become ‘just another solicitor’ and no longer stand out from the crowd.
Having said that, I don’t just palm people off. A good referral, with a letter of introduction and key information that will make the transition smooth, saves everyone time and builds good relationships for future work.
- Have a wish list.
Get into the habit of asking people what you could do to help their business. Ask them what their wish list is, and see what you can do to nudge them closer to those goals. You might be surprised by how many people then turn around and ask the same of you, so make sure you’re prepared.
You might tell them about a new product or promotion and ask if they have contacts who may be interested. You might ask if they’d share a particular post on social media, or even introduce you to potential clients within their network.
It might just be a conversation about your plans to expand, and asking them to keep you in mind should they come across a suitable contact. Whatever approach you take, be ready, be specific and provide them with the links or information to enable them to follow through.
- Share generously.
A tried and tested method for breaking miserly habits, is to give. Being generous with our referrals, with our conversations, and using the opportunities online to share and support other businesses, sends a message that we aren’t desperate for work.
Oddly enough, people are drawn to that. Some people will actively look for opportunities to return the favour, and others will just be more likely to discuss you with their contacts because you’ve built a positive connection. In either case, you’ve made yourself memorable and opened the door to possibilities.
So enjoy the expansive market at your doorstep. Worry less about there not being enough, and think more about how you can stand out from the crowd.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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