Often during consultations prospects say, “I want to break into this particular geographic market,” or “I want my competitor’s share of the XYZ market.” Those are great goals to have – eventually. However, these statements tend to come from companies who haven’t really registered consistent profit over the past year. Just like global warming has changed some ecosystems, competition and economic challenges are screaming that we need to adapt, too. When a species in the wild is threatened it either adapts or dies off. You need to plan for market adaptation and business evolution. If there isn’t enough “food” (business) for you because of competition or location, look for another source.
Take a Tip From Darwin – Even today, species are adapting to the climate changes we humans have set in motion: jellyfish are taking over coastal areas, native species are being choked out by invasive ones and others are on the verge of extinction. Are small businesses any different? Look at your ecosystem. Has it changed? What are your competitors doing to adapt and evolve? Are you still waiting out the economy? If you are, you could be going by way of the Dodo.
How Big Is Your Pond? If you aren’t the biggest fish just one of the school, you need a new pond. That could be niche marketing yourself to another untapped audience or changing the way you do business that makes you unique in your current pond. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is an example. They will deliver the car to you. They don’t offer anything more or less than their competition except that. For someone who cannot get a ride to rent a car, they are the number one choice.
Find New Places To Feed – Sometimes it’s not your product or service that is stagnant, it’s your ego. Business owners get in their own way SO often. They don’t try to go after certain markets because they are afraid they will look foolish. How do you know? And, would it really matter if you found a great new market? That’s the real difference between successful businesses (and successful marketers), they are not afraid of trying something a little wild or unique to break through. It only takes one great hit to get you into a spotlight. Where are you NOT trying to get clients because your ego is in your business’ way?
This entire post is about ego. The decision to try or not to try new things falls to the owner or decision maker. If you don’t have enough clients now, you need to muster up the courage to change something – either in your product or in your targets.