Overview: Your business will be competing with local suppliers, those in near by towns and cities plus the big online shops. How to effectively compete with a wide range of competitors is a challenge for most business managers. However there are a number of simple things that will allow your business to compete with any competitor if done correctly.

Right Basics: Ensure your physical premises are clean, well stocked, inviting and well advertised. Your social media and web resources should be professional.

Who Are They?: Know monitor and measure against your local, national and international competitors. Customers can easily surf or travel to trade with them.

Good Product: Understand the market need for your product. Create a product strategy. Ask customers what products they expect. Surprise them.

Experiment: Look at products that are complimentary or new to customers. Try them out in limited quantities. Keep those that prove popular.

Services: There are many ways to add value through services such as assisted shopping, seating, advise, information, gift wrapping and many others

Experiment: Businesses outside your sector can be a very source of service ideas and value addition for your business. Try something different.

Advertise Hard: Make your unique  products services and value the core of your advertising and marketing. Cut costs but don’t cut advertising.

Product Placement: Give prominence in your shop to products and services unique to you.  Tell every customer about them and their value.

Compare: Providing customers with a comparison between you and competitors is a useful way of competing. Keep the comparison positive and true.

Compliment: Some business stock products that compliment those of competitors. This give customers a reason to visit and buy from you.

Update: Customer expectations change constantly. Monitor trends in taste, fashion and quality. Keep up to date with customers expectations.

Counter Launch: Always have a “War Chest” of things that you can quickly launch to recapture customer attention if your competitors have done something new.

Get Technical: Make sure that customers can get information on your products and offers using the technologies they want. Web and Mobile are now standard.

Price: Manage prices carefully. If you produce and sell a unique product you do not have to price the same in your shop as you do Online.

Price up Online: Businesses with unique products they  make and sell can price higher on the Internet than they do in their shop.

Flash Sales: Flash sales are a useful way of attracting customers. These are surprise sales, held for a very limited time and usually on only certain products.

Segment sales: Businesses who can divide their market into segments often hold sales or events for a segment of their market.

Dump Sales: These are used to dispose of smaller volumes of end of line or unpopular lines. This clears the stock and reduces stock carrying costs.

Glitz and Bling: Customers love dynamic events that show a businesses appreciation  or showcase something they do. Saturday afternoons are good for this.

Deliver / Collect: Give your customers options to have purchases delivered or, if bought online, collected in the shop. Reward them for saving you the delivery costs.

Loyalty Scheme: Have a loyalty scheme. Even the simplest of schemes shows appreciation to customers. Having an annual special reward draw is powerful

Demonstrations: Get in specialists to give lessons and advice on issues relevant to the product (s) you sell. This can be a powerful sales driver.

Lose Customers: Some customers you don’t want. Many businesses actively encourage unprofitable customers to shop with their competitors.

Be Brutal: Stand back and have good hard look at your business. Would you be attracted to it if you were a customer. Be VERY honest in your answer.