This is one of the tough realities of business. In some sectors, competition can be so intense with some players behaving like animals in a jungle.
I watched a documentary recently, which showed just how tough life is in the jungle. A cheetah had spent several days without a meal.
Its babies were nearing the point of starvation. It had to find an animal to kill fast, in order for the family to survive. Out in the plains, the cheetah spotted some gazelles grazing in the distance.
Stealthily, it moved towards its prey. Suddenly it sprang into speed.
The gazelles all burst off, but the cheetah kept its focus on the one target it had selected. A few minutes later, the gazelle was caught.
Keeping a firm grip on the gazelle’s throat, the cheetah started recuperating from the taxing chase. Soon, it had regained its breath and it began to pull the dead gazelle towards its babies.
Suddenly, from nowhere, a lion appeared, growling menacingly. Knowing that it stood no chance against the king of the jungle, the cheetah meekly and wisely walked away, empty handed. That is the reality of life in the jungle.
In business, there are lots of other companies that are waiting just to take away your existing customers.
Getting a new customer is difficult because so many others are fighting to get the same. Bigger and more powerful companies seem to get most of the business and thus keep on growing, while new and small companies struggle to survive.
Only about one in 10 new businesses make it beyond five years. How can your business survive in this tough and highly competitive business world?
If you can make your small business more visible in the market, make it look big, your chances of success increase. People buy from people they know and trust.
A well-known and bigger business is more easily trusted than a small and unknown one. Here are some of low-cost ways you can implement to increase your business’ visibility:
Develop a professional-looking company profile
A company profile talks to customers on your behalf. What image does yours project portray? That of a small, struggling company or that of a successful and professionally run business?
Carefully think about howyou can make your profile send out a powerful image. Freelance graphic designers can design a professional profile for you at an affordable price.
With printing costs now low (because of competition in the industry and new technology), producing a professional-looking profile is affordable.
Network a lot
Networking at business, industry and professional events is a great and effective way of meeting people that you could probably never meet any other way.
Successful entrepreneurs utilise every networking opportunity to increase their contacts of useful people. At these events, you will meet potential customers, suppliers, financiers and business partners. Join networking groups that are relevant to your business and to your industry.
Attract media attention
Contributing to current issues or making a comment on a major event, giving your knowledge and expertise or showing how your company is playing a role in solving the problems involved will give you media attention.
As long as you are not directly advertising your products, the media can give you free publicity. Look at how Nyaradzo Funeral Services gets featured in the print and electronic media during its annual “Walk for the environment” campaign.
Offer an exceptional experience
If you are excited about your products and offer service beyond customer expectations, you will get not only repeat customers, but also new ones from free word of mouth advertising. Happy customers will spread the word around. And customers who get referred by other people have trust and will not have questions about your size or ability.
The “Marketing to Grow Your Business in 2012” presentation made by Nigel Jumbe at the January BusinessLink Networking Breakfast meeting is available for downloading at my website, http://smebusinesslink.com.
I can also send it by email on request. The next breakfast meeting will be held on February 24. It’s a great networking opportunity for high-performance entrepreneurs.
Phillip Chichoni is a business planning and financial management consultant who works with entrepreneurs and growing businesses. You may contact him on:
Be visible online
This is the age of the internet.
When you approach a new customer, they will almost certainly google your name or your company. Being found online will certainly make you look big, not like a struggling upstart.
Even better, having positive and exciting content from third parties about you online will certainly add to your credibility.
Web design costs are now low and affordable, so there is no excuse not to be visible online. Creating your professional profile on LinkedIn is absolutely free, so is having your company’s profile on Facebook. All the big and successful companies have an online presence.