Monday, November 7, 2011

Finding Your Place In The Economy

The current economy has opened up multiple opportunities for businesses. Sure you can say people aren’t spending like they used to, but why sit back and just accept it? Consumers are willing to spend their extra money; they just want to make sure they are finding value in their purchases.

How do we create value in our products and services? We can do so in a couple of different ways.

1. Be The Best- If you are the best at what you do of course consumers are more likely to spend their money with your business, especially as opposed to spending with a less effective competitor.

Take a company like Dick’s Sporting Goods. Sure there is a ton of competition out there for sporting goods store, but Dick’s took a different approach. They didn’t specialize in just one aspect like golf or fishing, they specialized in it all. Dick’s is kind of like several stores within a store.

Each department is separated within the one store. Want to know more about golfing? They have golf enthusiasts working in the golf department and the same goes for the exercise department and the shoe department is staffed with hikers and runners that are very knowledgeable about different types of shoes and sneakers.

Because Dick’s is such a large chain, they can offer their products at a discounted price giving them a huge advantage over the mom and pop sporting good stores. Breaking their locations down into smaller segmented sub stores with knowledgeable employees also gives them an advantage over the other larger chains.

2. Have A Niche- Create a place for your business within your industry. Offer something that your competitors can’t offer.

Panera Bread is a great example of a company that has found their niche. Sure there are plenty of fast food restaurants out there and also plenty of sit down restaurants. Panera has taken the two concepts and put them together to create something unique.

The draw of a fast food restaurant is that it is quick and easy for people that are on the go, but it is often not the best quality food. Sit-down restaurants, however, offer quality food and some healthier options but the food meets your mouth in a less timely manner.

Sure Panera isn’t quite as fast as a fast food chain but it’s certainly not as slow as a typical sit down restaurant either. It’s the quality food, warm environment and reasonably quick, exceptionally friendly service that makes this chain such a success. Of coarse there are also the small things like free wifi and real plates and silverware to add to the customers’ experience. Plus where else can you get a roasted turkey and artichoke sandwich on a freshly baked focaccia bread with a hearty cream of broccoli soup served in a bakery fresh bread bowl for under 10 dollars?

Being a successful business is really a simple concept. You have to create value in what you do. Be the best and your reputation will represent your business well. Be different and set yourself apart from your competition.

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