If it hasn’t happened to your industry yet, be assured that it will. The 800-pound gorilla will come after you. It will sit anywhere it wants, maybe right next to your business, and try to push you off the bench.
It happened to the toy stores, and the gorilla was named Toys R Us. And now, a new and bigger gorilla is working hard to push Toys R Us out of the marketplace. It happened to the local pharmacy, and the gorilla was named Walgreen’s or CVS. It happened to the local diner, the local bookstore, the video rental, the local department store, the employment agency, the tax preparer, and just about every type of business imaginable. It’s only a matter of time until that gorilla comes after your industry and after you!
Sure, there are still a few local toy stores, bookstores, diners, etc., but in order to survive they must be very good at what they do, and they must market aggressively because the gorilla is good at doing what you do, and it has a great marketing department with an advertising budget much larger than yours. It also has a large headquarters and regional staff of trained experts at all of its business functions – purchasing, production, human resources, bookkeeping, design, inventory control, logistics, and management.
How can you compete, survive, and prosper against that gorilla? You can’t continue to do business the way you’ve done it for years, that’s for sure!
You do it by taking advantage of your local knowledge, knowing your customers, and your industry. You build on your strengths by making them stronger and minimizing your weaknesses. You do it by working to elevate your company’s skills and better professionalize your staff to please your customers and anticipate their needs. You do it by creating and developing services, programs, and customized efforts to please them in ways the gorilla can’t, because of its size and scale.
How do you become more aggressive with a limited budget? You start by thinking hard about how you market, who you market to, how best to inform and excite your prospects, and develop a planned attack to impress your targeted market. If you do all that, you may survive and even prosper when that gorilla comes after your customers as it certainly will. Following all that, you must work at constantly improving because, if you beat that gorilla today, be assured it will be back.