When competitors increase their business reach in terms of sales and customer base, their key focus is to make inroads into your customer base.
In other words, you risk losing the heartbeat of your business – your customers – as long as there are other brands offering products or services similar to yours. That is why it is imperative to take precautionary steps beforehand to protect yourself from competitors who may be sniffing around your business’s customer base.
Five strategies that can help protect your business from being run over by your competitors.
- Get your employees to sign a non-compete agreement.
Your employees know a lot about your business secrets. Leaving your business to work for your competition means that they carry your business’s secrets with them, which your competitor can use to hurt your business.
That is why it is vital to include non-compete agreements in the employment contract to prevent employees from working for your direct competition during their tenure. However, it is advisable to enlist the services of a qualified lawyer when creating a non-compete covenant to ensure that it is legally sound and enforceable by the courts.
- Limit access
Limiting access to competitively sensitive information only to a few select persons and, on a need-to-know basis, is another way to protect your company from the competition.
Information such as customer information, designs and techniques, and scientific data should permanently be restricted to individuals in managerial positions or employees required to use that information in their day-to-day work. Limiting sensitive information to a select few also helps make it easy to establish what may be classified as trade secrets in your business in the event of litigation.
- Keep in touch with your existing customers.
Many businesses make the mistake of stopping the effort of wooing the customer when they win them over. But that should never be the case. It is always a good idea to follow them up. Set aside some time from your busy sales activities and spend time with your existing customers.
Remember, not all customers should be treated the same. The more valuable a customer is to your business, the more frequently you should check on them. Doing that makes them feel valued, making them want to stick with you.
- Continue to innovate
Being the first at something is valuable and can boost your business’s popularity. But you can not rest on your past successes. It would help if you kept creating and innovating. It doesn’t always have to be a big thing. Little things can make a big difference and make your customers feel that you offer more value than they could ever get from your competitors.
Use the resources earned in good times to prepare you for the next big thing through creating and experimenting. Only don’t get contented with what you have on offer. In today’s competitive world, staying competitive without innovation is almost impossible.
- Become a resource
The more clued up you are about your industry and products, the more valuable you will be to your customer. Encourage your audience to ask industry or product-related questions and do your best to answer them. If you don’t have an answer, request that they give you time to respond and ensure that you do. You can also use email or social media to share industry tips with your customers.
Sharing information with your customers establishes you as an authority critical in cementing your relationship with your customers. Having your business as a source of information will make your customers stick with you because ditching you would mean losing their source of valuable information.