There are tens of thousands of successful small businesses trading in thousands of communities. In fact, world wide, you could make those numbers millions. Why is then that a highly successful local business fails on a wider platform like the Internet? A business management professional could point to a score or more of reasons for this failure, however, I am only going to stick to one today, and it’s one that affects every business that attempts to trade online.
In a local community, marketing is relatively easy. You may only have one or two competitors, or, in larger towns, maybe a handful of competitors. Online, you have hundreds, if not thousands of competitors, so your marketing approach has to be different. Locally, you may be able to win on price, service, and perhaps even quality. Those factors, whilst still important, wont differentiate you from every other online business. Someone somewhere will beat you on price, perhaps quality, and as for service, there’s only so far that you can go.
To succeed online, you need to be able to stand tall over the top of any opposition. This means being different, even if you are selling the same products for the same price as your competitors. How you find that one factor that helps you to stand out can be difficult. Specialization can help. By narrowing your target market, you may find niches that are not as competitive, yet deliver the same volume of sales. Many businesses fail because they decide to diversify to broadly when they should have looked at a more specialized market.
Every business is different, so it’s impossible to come up with a single solution. You will need to analyze your business structure, analyze your niche and your competitors, then discover a point of differentiation that will help you stand out from the crowd. Small business Internet marketing professionals can help you analyze your business to discover that point of differentiation.