I plan on putting out a number of different articles about how to keep up with and beat your competitors. This particular article is about how to keep an eye on your competition. On a basic level, you probably “get” that keeping up with your competition is wise, but of course, this may bring up the question of what specifically you should be keeping an eye on.
Fundamentally, you may know that you need to keep an eye on what they are doing so that their events aren’t overlapping with yours. This is especially true if they are going to have a big event on any date because that could potentially kill out what you are trying to promote. On the other hand, you may plan an event that is even bigger just to overtake theirs. Either way, you’ve got to be smart about whatever plans you make. So, first things first; you’ll need to look at the calendar and mark down when their events are. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to work around your competition, but you do need to keep up with what they are doing and stay smart.
You’ll also want to take note of your competition’s pricing. What’s their cover charge? What are their drink prices? Does your bar even compete with them when it comes to drink prices? It may be that you’re a high-end nightclub and you don’t have $0.50 drinks, but you still need to have an idea about what the bar down the street is doing.
Make sure that you know their pricing and whether or not it’s playing a role in whether people are choosing to go there instead of your nightclub. Again, you don’t have to change your pricing just because people have a tendency to go grab a cheaper beer down the street, but you want to observe such details so that you can make the best decisions possible for your business. What about décor and the people that choose your competitor’s nightclub over your own? You’d be surprised what adjustments you could make based on that as well, and the smallest changes can really make a world of difference.
Remember, you’ll want to pay attention to both your direct and indirect competitors. The bar down the street may not be as direct a competitor as the other nightclub that’s about a mile away, but your nightclub and that bar are both nightlife-oriented locations. Keep up with who their customers are compared to yours. Maybe college students frequent the bar down the street, while higher-end clientele are what you typically bring in. As those students begin to graduate or make more money, you could end up with a bit of a battle for market share.
Competition is always going to affect your business, whether that competition is direct or indirect. Just because you own a nightclub and the business across the street is a restaurant/bar that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to have some influence over your success. Nightlife entertainment is still provided there, and as a result, you may have a bit of trouble getting the same type of clientele to choose your clubs nightlife over the peace and relaxation they could get with their friends at the restaurant, right? Do you see? It’s not direct competition, but this other business could have an effect on how much you make at the end of the night.
What about the types of competition that is completely indirect to your own? Maybe there’s a big hockey game or a football game going on this Saturday night. These types of events could take a whole lot of people away from the bar or nightclub, and they could totally kill any event you may be trying to hold. These are the types of things you’ll need to keep an eye on as well because they can affect your plans and your profits. The same thing goes for the economy, or the weather, or events that are happening in a nearby city. These are all important factors that can affect your market and your bottom line.
Here’s another great example. What if most of your customers are men between the ages of 18 and 25? Video games also tend to appeal to this market. So, if a popular video game is coming out this weekend, don’t you think that it may have some influence over how many customers may show up on Saturday? That may sound silly, but this sort of thing does happen. That’s very indirect competition, but these types of things play huge factors on whether or not your event is successful or if you’ve wasted your money on having an expensive DJ come in that night.
Hey, anything can happen. There’s no question about that. However, you can make a lot better business decisions and become a lot more successful if you keep an eye on your competition, your market, and what’s going on in your area. When it comes to your competition, whether direct or indirect, you’ll also want to look into what tools they are using. Take some time to check out what they are posting on social media and what platforms they are utilizing the most. What kind of things are they posting? How are they treating their customers compared to how you’re treating yours? What kind of communication and engagement are they able to have with customers compared to your own?
If people are interacting with and communicating with your competitors more often than they are with your business, you may need to step up your game a bit. One of the great things about social media, by the way, is that you can use it to keep a better eye on what your competition is doing. In fact, visiting their sites and pages online is one of the best ways to follow what’a going on. This is going to give you greater insight on what your competition is doing, how they are doing, what makes your business better, and what areas you stand to improve.
There’s no reason why your customers should have to hide that they like another nightclub more than yours. If that’s the case, ask them what it is that they like better. Maybe a customer really likes your nightclub better, and they just go to the other place because they can shoot some pool there or something like that. You never know unless you ask, and you don’t have to be a snake about it and try to put everyone else on the block out of business. You just want to inquire so you know what will make your own customers more comfortable and happier.
I always say that you always have to work on stepping up your game, not just to better compete with competitors but also to improve upon yourself. Keep in mind that you are also competing with yourself to a certain degree. If you’re going to let things slide and let opportunities slip past you, then you’re going to end up putting yourself out of business. Make sure that you stay on top of your game because it’s not just the other guy’s half-priced beer prices that put you in turmoil.
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