Ross Shafer’s new book Grab More Market Share — How to Wrangle Business Away from Lazy Competitors lays out a slew of strategies for growing your business by stealing away competitors’ customers.
Here are five of Shafer’s tips for snatching more market share:
- Stay relevant through innovation. One great way to gain market share is to spot new trends ahead of competitors. Listen carefully when you’re chatting with friends, watching the news, or listening to kids talk about what they like. Think about how new technology might change your industry — that was Netflix’s opening to crush Blockbuster. There may be a change in the wind your business can jump on.
- Respond to customers — fast. Remember when leaving a voicemail recording that says, “I’ll get back to you within 24 hours” seemed responsive? Not any more. In this age of real-time Twitter customer-support, shoppers are increasingly loyal to the company that can fix their problem right now. Check out how fast your competitors respond, and then be faster, and customers will take notice.
- Use customers’ ideas. Companies such as Threadless have thrived by putting customers at the centre of their business and letting them design their t-shirts. Keep an open channel for customer ideas — one of them might be your next hit product.
- Snap up competitors. Sometimes the easiest way to get more customers is to simply buy them. Watch for competitors that might be up for sale and purchase their customer lists. Shafer loves Baron Rothschild’s famous quote, “The time to buy is when there is blood in the streets.” Capitalise on today’s economic chaos to solidify your business’s position.
Be more flexible. Are your competitors still expecting workers to warm a chair from 9 to 5 in their office every weekday? You could steal their best people by simply offering more flexibility in how and where people work.