Good companies don't aim to be cheap.
Always cheaper than our competitors!
Best prices around!
Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!
It often feels like little businesses cannot compete unless they are the cheapest option out there. My first businesses focused on providing free or cheap options in a way to "stand out" from my competition.
I quickly figured out that good companies don't aim for cheapness.
Good companies aim to be the best.
Not to be the best in everything, good companies strive to be great in their niche.
Jim Collin's book, Good to Great, makes clear that all businesses (but especially small businesses) should find what they're best at (or the greatest need of their customers) and become the best.
Maybe you provide the best quality of product in your hometown, maybe you have a creative approach to sales in your online niche, or maybe you build great relationships with your customers by providing them all the information they need to take the first step.
Great companies that seem to go for cheap often don't. Walmart advertises their "Everyday Low Prices", and while their prices are low, they are in no way trying to compete with the local dollar store in prices. Walmart seems to make convenience their number one focus. They try to provide everything you need in one nearby location so you don't have to hop from store to specialty store.
When I advise those starting online businesses I spend the majority of my time helping clients focus on their niche. It is one of the most difficult (yet, critical) steps in building a business. We all have a variety of ideas and want to provide everything for our customers, but it is impossible for us to become "the best" at everything.
The authors of Rework started a successful niche business. They have had a million opportunities to expand into other fields or provide more complicated solutions for their customers. Instead, they are still a small company with a very specific product that meets a very specific niche audience for a very specific price.
They aren't trying to be the largest company out there, they're trying to be the best company for their very specific niche.
What is the ONE THING your company the best at? What other things get in the way of becoming the best in your very specific niche? What do you provide that no other company in your niche offers?
4 November 2016