When you’re running your own business, there are multiple areas to juggle but looking outwards from time to time can strengthen your offering. Understanding what your rival complementary and alternative medicine businesses are doing can not only help you identify new markets to target but also help you develop your USPs to stand out from the crowd.
With so many other tasks on your plate, it can be a challenge to even find the time to learn from your CAM competitors, never mind analyse and implement changes. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as following their social media feeds to see how they’re connecting with customers to regularly checking out their prices to ensure you remain cost competitive.
Unsure of what you should be looking for? These six things identify the areas where you can really learn some valuable information that could see your profits soar.
Upcoming industry trends
Complementary and alternative medicine might have been around for centuries but there’s no denying that trends still occur. It’s not just about the popularity of overall CAM therapies but the types of treatments customers are looking for.
Take a look at what your rivals are doing in terms of the treatments being offered, have a few of them recently added a new type of therapy? It could signal a shift in the market. It’s a great idea to expand your horizons with this one, don’t just stick to looking at those businesses that target the same local market as you. Instead, look further afield at similar businesses to put yourself in a position to be at the forefront of the trend in your region.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should follow what other businesses are doing but trends do play a role in how a CAM business is perceived.
New marketing ideas
Whether you’re a small start-up CAM business with a local clientele or a rapidly expanding firm, don’t underestimate the power of marketing.
Marketing isn’t only a way to attract new customers but ensures that you stay in the mind of your existing ones. Creating a loyal following is key to forging a successful alternative medicine business. The good news is that thanks to digital connectivity, you can expand your reach without it costing a fortune. The down side? Every other CAM business knows it too.
Keep an eye on how your rivals are connecting with their customers to see what works. Do their followers engage with social media posts? Are their blogs educational or fun? Have they ever earned media coverage? By looking at what works and what doesn’t for your competitors, you can devise your own media strategy. Remember, marketing is constantly evolving so always be on the lookout and prepared to test new strategies.
Assess your value
Do you have any idea how much your CAM rivals charge? If the answer’s no, it should be on your list of things to discover.
Pricing is a huge part of attracting clients and if you’re much more expensive than an alternative, you may find it difficult to secure new customers. However, on the flipside, too cheap and people will often assume you don’t have the credentials or experiences.
Looking at other CAM businesses can help you assess your value. You don’t need to match their prices or undercut them but you do need to justify your choices. If your treatments typically cost more but are personally tailored, last longer, or you have qualifications that set you apart, you need to shout about the benefits to justify the cost to the audience. Your value should play a core role in your brand and through comparing yourself to rivals you can get a better idea of your value positioning.
When a business changes the way it operates, it’s very rarely a spur of the moment decision. It’s usually in response to customer or wider business trends.
Assessing how your business is changing their operating model, can signal a demand from customers. If other CAM businesses are beginning to change their operating hours, implement loyalty programmes, or another aspect of the way they operate, it could be time to do some research into the reasons why. You don’t have to respond in the same way your rivals are but armed with more information you can make the decisions that are right for you and your target clients.
If you really want to stand out in the market, you need to have a unique selling point – something that really sets you apart from others offering similar services. For CAM therapists, it could be that you’re price competitive, have extensive experience, or are pioneering a new type of treatment.
Reviewing your rivals can give you a clear idea of exactly what makes you different. Taking these USPs and showcasing them to potential customers is a great way to attract new clients and carve out a niche in the market for yourself. It doesn’t have to be something that you’re already doing. As you’re reviewing competitors you might notice a gap in the market that you can then seize and take advantage of.
Learn from their mistakes
You shouldn’t just be looking at the positive steps your rivals are taking but the mistakes they make too. Entrepreneurship is often a steep learning curve but by assessing what others in the CAM sector are doing you can skip a few by learning from their mistakes. Whether it’s a marketing plan that fails to hit the mark or a new CAM service that simply doesn’t capture the interest of the market, understanding the mistakes of others can certainly play in your favour.
Through gathering invaluable information on your competitors’ and utilising the information to make informed choices for your business, you can take your complimentary and alternative medicine business to new heights. As with any business, understanding your CAM rivals is just as important as your customer perception.