Market Dominating Position – Part 3
In the last article you learned the 5 steps that you need to take to create your Market Dominating Position.
If you’d like to revise it, you may go to:
Since it’s been a few months, let me do a quick refresher of the last article.
The 5 step process to creating your Market Dominating Position are:
Step 1, determine your strategic position in the market.
Step 2, determine your primary market dominating position.
Step 3, determine your supporting business model.
Step 4, determine your secondary market dominating position.
Step 5, create your market dominating position statement or elevator pitch.
After reviewing them, select the one or ones that best fit your individual business.
Category number one involves the level of service you provide.
There are a total of six different areas where you can add value when it comes to service.
The first area is typically one of the most important to prospects convenience. In today’s hectic world, the one thing most people value more than money is more time. How else do you explain the dramatic increase in “convenience stores” that typically charge 40% or more for the “convenience” of shopping there?
Few of us have our oil changed at the dealership where we purchased our vehicle. Instead, we visit the local neighborhood oil change specialty shop because it’s more convenient. These shops have grown exponentially because we no longer feel we have the time or the energy to drop off our car at the dealership, secure a ride home while the service is performed and then arrange to pick the vehicle back up. The lure of the local oil change shop is based on convenience. Anything you can do in your business to increase your customer’s convenience will create a market dominating advantage.
Here are six areas to consider where you can provide more convenience.
First, your location.
Although this is probably the best way to provide convenience, for the vast majority of businesses, changing locations isn’t an option. However, a great location is certainly a secondary market dominating position. For a fitness center located near a major residential area, location is certainly their primary market dominating position.
Your customers want to do business on THEIR schedule, not yours. Ask yourself what you can do to make your business more available including extending the hours or the days you’re open for business.
For example, five years ago the majority of health clubs were open from 8am until 7pm Monday through Saturday. Today, the vast majority are now open 24 hours seven days per week. The ones that have resisted this schedule are struggling to survive in this extremely competitive market. Same thing with supermarkets and convenience stores. We want to shop when we have time, not when the store thinks it’s convenient for us to shop. Please remember these are just suggestions for you to consider. You need to evaluate your customer’s needs to see if this is a viable option that will produce a positive return for making your business more convenient.
You should also test different hours of operation to see what works best for your business from a financial standpoint. If you’re a financial planner, would changing your hours to include Saturday mornings or Tuesday evenings help your clients that work Monday through Friday? If your business involves your customers dropping something off to you, then consider offering something as simple as a drop box. How long would a customer patronize a video store that didn’t offer one?
Many businesses rely on drop boxes as an integral part of their business such as rental car companies, photo finishing, dry cleaners, container shipping, auto body shops that ask you to leave your keys after hours in a key box and so on.
The third area involves the ordering process.
Ordering should be easy. If ordering is typically a headache for your customers then solving this problem can help you to establish a powerful market dominating position.
Have you ever attempted to contact a business where it was all but impossible to speak with a real live human being? Instead, you’re routed through a maze of automated voice mail messages asking you to select an option that has nothing to do with the reason you’re calling. This is not only frustrating to the customer, but it immediately creates enough animosity emotionally to compel this customer to take their business to a competitor.
In contrast, the business that makes ordering convenient by providing easy access to menus with a live operator option, or the ability to conveniently order online becomes the logical choice for most customers.
A fourth area to look at involves delivery.
When providing your customers with a more convenient location isn’t an option, then the next best thing you can do is to bring your product or service to the customer. There are now businesses sprouting up that specialize in delivering local restaurant items directly to your home or office. All that’s required is for you to call an 800 number and place your order from one of 30 local area restaurants. The service then delivers the meal and charges a set fee that’s typically 50% to 100% higher than patronizing the restaurant in person. This further emphasizes the fact that people consider convenience to be more valuable to them than money. Dry cleaners are now using delivery to dramatically increase their revenue and profits. They now offer to come to your home on a specific day and time to pick up your dry cleaning and then deliver it back to your front door when they complete the job.
One area involving delivery that’s now growing by leaps and bounds is mobile services. This is where the business comes directly to your location to perform their services. Home decorators now offer “shop at home” service. The decorator comes to the customer’s home loaded with samples and swatches.
This is not only more convenient but it also enables the decorator to perform a consultative type sale by helping the customer select colors that match their home and their lifestyle. This type of personalized approach often leads to dramatic increases in conversion rates, but more important, it often takes price out of the equation.
You see ads on TV everyday for window replacement services for your car where the technician comes directly to your location and puts in your new window instead of you having to bring the vehicle to them. Commodity businesses like this one should attempt to use mobile services whenever possible. Adding convenience into your mix can easily position your business as the logical choice.
The fifth area to investigate involves payment terms.
If your competition doesn’t offer any type of financing options, you can differentiate your business by offering payment terms over 30, 60 or 90 days. Offer multiple payment options such as a “three easy payment plan.”
Did you know that the latest research shows that a product or service that typically sells for $39.95 can be sold for twice that price by offering the customer a two-payment option where they pay $39.95 at the time they place the order and then an additional $39.95 in 30 days?
Although this is a 100% increase in price, it only decreased the order rate by 17% versus offering the product at the original $39.95 price point.
Consider accepting credit cards if you don’t currently accept them. This alone can increase your sales by as much as 80%. How would you feel if you had to pay cash every time you filled your car up with gas, or had to make an emergency run to the store? The sixth and final area to consider involves miscellaneous services. What additional services do your customers consider to be important?
If your business attracts parents with small kids, consider offering child care services while the parents shop or take care of business.
How much more pleasant would it be for everyone if restaurants offered a separate and secluded child care area professionally supervised and loaded with games and toys? Do you really think that parents that show up with noisy kids really enjoy doing that? Do you think they would relish a quiet hour to have an enjoyable kid-free meal that evening? And do you think that ANY restaurant that offered this one-of-a-kind service would literally dominate their market, practically overnight?
What about the local bank? How often do busy parents have to drag little Sally or Johnny into the bank and spend their entire time trying to corral the kids instead of taking care of business? If your business requires parents to evaluate their purchase decision, such as buying furniture, a new computer or clothing, or requires a lengthy transaction time or office visit, such as the dentist, doctor or health club, then having a child’s play area can be a huge area of differentiation.
So consider these six areas when looking for ways your business can provide more convenience.
In the next article you will learn the 2nd to the 6th of the six areas where you can add value to your business.
Hope this read opened your eyes to opportunities that are missing in your business, don’t forget to apply what you learn to see the difference it will make in your business!
If you need help identifying your market dominating position, try my FREE test drive to gain access to our resources and tools.
Check it out at www.BestEntrepreneurSolutions.com/guidedtour
To Your Success,
Nancy Baki at Best Entrepreneur Solutions