Strange statement, huh? Shouldn’t I tell you to be the #1. Look at any of your favorite companies. They are always telling everyone how amazing they are. Entrepreneurs rarely lack confidence, and telling them to be less than #1 must sting. They expect to be the top dog in everything they do. Well I’m here to offer a different perspective. A perspective which takes some of the color out of your rose colored glasses. Success happens when entrepreneurs strive to be #5.
Here’s a fact in business – unless you’ve created something totally original, you’re starting off #2…or worse. The more established and mature the market is – the lower down the list you start. So in the grand scheme of things, by default, new companies are the last dog in the dogsled team. I don’t have to tell you the view is terrible! What is a confirmed alpha dog supposed to do?
First – relax & accept you’re not going to be #1 the first day you open the doors. I would endeavor to say – you may never be #1. Still being #5 is good enough when you can watch your business grow, and dominate your marketplace.
Second – Don’t take on the world. The worst mistake is to be everything to everyone. Be that master of one or two things – when you have a devoted customer base add something new. Keep your eye on the prize (your customer), and cherish them at all costs.
Third – Be better than your closest competitor. The leader in your marketplace, or industry, isn’t your rival. Your business does not have enough anything to take them on head-to-head. They can sit back, and outlast any offensive move you make. Your sole focus should be on the competition which offers similar products and services. By default they might have the same geographic area, the same number of customers, or a similar product. This is the person you’re going head-to-head with. Once you’ve smoked them, time to plan on taking on the next business that’s in your way.
Last – Listen to your prospects, and get feedback from your customers. Find out what services they expect, how you are better than the competition, and what you need to improve. Don’t be so headstrong not to listen to constructive criticism.
Now let’s examine how a business creates a plan to become the best #5 in your marketplace? First job is get to know everything about your competitors, and create a competitive intelligence information plan.
- Create a chart of the closest 5 competitors in your marketplace, and develop a SWOT analysis for each direct competitor.
- Be diligent about capturing your customer’s personal information: name, address, phone and email. This is your diamond mine.
- Competitive intelligence: subscribe to the local business news, PR, watch websites, subscribe to their newsletter, etc.
- Enlist the help of an “impartial observer”
I hope my strategic brain dump is helpful. Still if you’re confused, or want an impartial marketing plan, consider working with a company (such as mine). Our job is to act as an impartial observer who can help you develop your #5 plan.
Here’s to being the best # 5 you can be.
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