One of the biggest mistakes that businesses often make is worrying too much about what their competitors are doing and trying to copy their tactics. They get a glimpse of what their competition is offering or how they are marketing their company and immediately want to do the same thing. However, if you really think about it- what is that doing for your business? There is no way to gain a competitive advantage if what you offer and how you market your plumbing company is exactly the same as the competition (or even very similar). Instead of copying your competition, you should innovate and blow them away!
Here are a few suggestions for ways that you can separate yourself from the competition:
Services and products offered
Of course there are the basics that every plumbing company is going to offer, but are there any areas that you notice are lacking in your market? Maybe it also makes sense to offer additional services like heating and cooling in addition to your core plumbing services. This makes it easier for customers that would prefer to work with one contractor as opposed to multiple contractors during a home project.
Spend some time researching what your competitors charge for specific services and find out what each service includes. You don’t necessarily want to beat them on price. Sometimes consumers think that a cheaper price means low quality work. Charging more than the competition is OK, as long as you are able to provide additional services as a part of the package, a better warranty, or some other benefit.
It’s often beneficial to run limited time offer promotions. This invokes a sense of urgency among your target audience. If there is work that they’ve been meaning to have done but have been putting it off, now is the time for them to pull the trigger. It might mean doing the work at a cheaper rate, but there could be an influx of work that will keep your staff busy and keep revenue coming in. Once you land that first job and the customer is happy with the work it could lead to gaining a loyal customer and someone that will recommend your work to others.
Other marketing efforts
It’s OK to run ads in the same spots as your competitors, but you shouldn’t be doing “strictly what they’re doing”. Look for places that your competitors haven’t found yet and invest a portion of your marketing budget on those initiatives. For example, many plumbing companies aren’t doing all that they can be doing online. Some don’t even have a website! A great way to separate your business is to frequently update your website with useful information (blog posts) and be active in social media. Social media gives your company a voice and a personality and customers like to work with companies that they are familiar with.