“You don’t need to compete when you know who you are.” – Bernadette Jiwa.
When you know who you are in business or life, you aren’t compelled to compete. Why? Because you’re clear on who you serve, what you do, the value you bring to your clients and you are able to charge what you’re worth. And yet so many surveyors who run businesses, too often suffer from comparisonitis and have one eye on the competition, rather than doing the work to understand who their clients are, who want to hand money over to you, because they value the experience you bring as a surveyor.
Researching Your Competitors
Firstly, do the market research. Find out what your competitors are up to. What is their social media like? What do they offer? What are they charging? Make a note of what you like, hate and are curious about. Notice what is different about the way you approach your work and your competitor, but without judgment. Try and see it from a client’s point of view, as well as what you think is the right thing to do. Collate the information in a file and leave it there.
Secondly, write a list of the things that really bother you about your competitors. Do they have a strong brand presence online? Do they have good relationships with agents and you don’t? Do they get the referrals first? Are their fees very low, and do they undercut you after you’ve already quoted? Are your competitors more or less qualified or experienced than you?
Think About Who Can Help You
When you find out what is bothering you, you need to be thinking who can help you, not how you can do this. You do have a network of support around you, the problem is we often don’t ask because it opens up our vulnerability.
Marketing your business and having a clear presence helps reassure new and existing clients that they made the right decision choosing you. Not paying attention to this area doesn’t stand you in good stead when it comes to growing a business, adding value to what you do or building resilience if the market turns. And it doesn’t have to cost you an awful lot of money.
How to Embrace Your Competitors
Also, when you look at your competitors, it may be that you have some sort of judgment over the way a business should be run, the way a surveyor should perform and what reports should look like. There is no right or wrong way, as long as you follow the regulations. There is just the way that you do business that resonates with your clients. Focusing your energies on getting super clear on what you do and who you serve means that from a client’s point of view, there is an obvious differentiator from the outset.
Never be derogatory against your competitor. Just show that you are better and why. And if you really struggle, get someone to help you. A VA can work wonders for your business and act as a gatekeeper.
And when you know who you are, and feel good about what you offer, then dig out that file and compare your competitors with a much different, more positive perspective.
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