How successful online businesses stand out in highly competitive markets

It’s a crowded market out there, and if you’re an online entrepreneur, you may be wondering how you can possibly make your product or service stand out from all your competitors’. While it may seem like a difficult goal to achieve, there are a few things you can do to turn it to reality.

What Makes You Different?

Before you even start, make sure to choose an optimal product or service. When trying to decide on what you will sell, think of problems your customers have and figure out how to address them. If applicable, you should also take a look at your competitors and determine what they are missing, then fill that missing niche. Whatever way you decide to make yourself different, make it your brand.

Aside from solving a previously unaddressed issue or simply creating a better product, you can also get a little more creative in how you differentiate your brand. For example, make free one-day shipping, a lifetime warranty, or other appealing guarantees a part of your business model. You must be able to back up any offers though. Another idea is to found a startup with a cause marketing effort and make giving back to your community or a charity a pillar of your business. This method may require a large change in your business model, however, if it was not part of your original plan.

Being Honest

Be honest to your customers about your products and services. If you feel the need to exaggerate about your product’s quality, there is an issue. Instead of making things up (that end to come out in the end anyways), work towards improving and accomplishing things that you can actually brag about. Similarly, admit and mistakes you make and try to fix them quickly. Owning up to an issue and correcting it can turn a bad experience into a good one, and customers remember experiences so this is an important effort to make.

Having a Strong Online Presence

We have already posted an article that goes into greater depth on this topic, but having a strong online presence can make a world of difference for your online business.

The first step is to have your own website. Ideally, it should be simple so people can absorb information quickly and easily, as well as pleasing to the eye. Investing time and effort to ensure it is mobile friendly also means a larger audience will be able to properly view your site. Posting high quality content is another very important requirement. Consider posting on a blog too if you want more web traffic. Education content will win your business favor and reputation, and entertaining content will similarly attract readers. However, promotional content will turn people off. Lastly, pay attention to SEO.

Beyond your own website, you should aim to grow your online presence in other ways. You can try to get yourself featured on other websites. This will help you gain exposure with a new audience and increase your credibility. If possible, having others endorse or positively review your product will help boost its popularity. Another method is to become an online resource. Participate in chat forums answering questions and responding to comments. Lastly, make sure to be active on social media! Social media is an easy way to become a part of people’s everyday lives. On social media, you can interact with customers, post content, and market your brand. Just make sure to tailor your business’s social media persona to appeal to your target audience.

Customer Service

Customer service is another factor that matters heavily to customers. In fact, about 75% of customers in one survey said that they consider customer service a test of a company’s competency. If your customer service is notable, that’s an instant plus for your business and it’ll help you stand out. As a testament to just how much customer service matters to buys, 73% of respondents in a PwC survey said it was an important determinant in their purchasing decisions. The same survey also found consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for a superior experience and will be more loyal to brands that provide them.

Always Making an Effort to Improve

Once you have a plan, it’s good to stick to it. But, nonetheless, be willing to change it if you see the opportunity for improvement. Keep yourself informed about new developments in your field and be sure to stay on the cutting edge. Produce new and improved products as your company grows, and as you always want something to differentiate yourself, be willing to adapt and change if increased competition means you are no longer unique.

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2017/02/23/7-ways-to-make-your-business-stand-out-in-a-crowd-of-competitors/#24878a9f62fa

https://www.strategy-business.com/article/How-to-stand-out-in-a-crowded-marketplace?gko=9a505

How to Plan and Manage an Event

1. Work with a Team

Planning and managing an event can be a large task, and it inevitably requires a lot of commitment, both in terms of effort and time. This is especially true for larger events. Rather than leaving the planning all to one person, try to organize a group of people who can work together, dividing up the responsibilities amongst themselves. Just make sure that everyone in the event planning group communicates well throughout to ensure as smooth a process as possible.

2. Set a Date

The first thing you should do is set a date for your event. You should choose a date far enough away that you’ll have time to plan. Generally, the larger the event, the more time you’ll want to leave yourself. Be aware of holidays or other events that you may want to plan around as to avoid conflicts and your target attendees already being busy.

3. Make a Budget

Once you have a date, start working on your budget. The most important thing to keep in mind is this: plan your event around your budget, don’t plan your budget around your event. In other words, work with what you have. If you just start spending without thinking about how much you have in pocket, it’ll be easy to go over budget. Account for your most important costs first (like the venue), then move on to the smaller, less-important things to similarly avoid spending too much. It’s always a good idea to leave just a little bit extra in your budget for any unforeseen costs that may pop up.

4. Figure Out Logistics

The biggest logistical thing to figure out is the venue. Make sure the venue you choose suits your needs (for example, it can handle the size of your crowd and any equipment you may need for the event). Ideally, you should look at a few places and compare their costs and included amenities before making a choice. After you know your venue what will be included, start working out the other logistics like food and drink, transportation, parking, sound systems, accessibility accommodations.

5. Advertise Your Event

Now that you have your event planned out, you have to make sure you have people coming to it. Advertise your event and keep track of the responses you get to invitations if you send them out. Activity booking platforms like GoBuddy provide yet another place to list and manage your event as well as software that makes it easy to keep an eye on information like how many people have signed up for your event and to reach out to them with any necessary information.

6. Pay Attention to the Details

While planning out your event, pay attention to the details. Even the smallest of things can be meaningful to your attendees and make the difference between an ok event and a truly memorable one. These small details can be anything from organizational aspects that helped the event run efficiently or entertaining elements that made it really fun.

7. Have a Day-Of Plan

Before your event, make a day-of plan that includes everything from the set up to how you will wrap everything up after the event ends. This day-of plan will help ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible. It should be as detailed as possible and include buffer time to account for any delays as well as breaks for yourself. Have backup plans too in case of unexpected interruptions like bad weather, equipment failure, or cancelations. Everyone working with you on event planning should be able to get in touch with both each other and the suppliers/venue staff for the event. If you can do it, a final walk through a day or so before the event might might also be a good idea

8. Ask for Feedback

After the event, make sure to reach out to the attendees and ask them how they felt about the event. Ask them what worked well, what could have used improvement, and if they have any other suggestions or comments. Giving your attendees a chance to provide feedback will make them feel more appreciated and listened-to, and it is also the most direct way to learn how to improve your events! If you used a platform like GoBuddy, this is an easy way to get in touch with your attendees.