There are two steps on how you can grow your business when you have many competitors serving the same market as you do. Today, you’ll learn the first step.
When I got the franchise for STI computer school in Zamboanga City, there were many schools and local colleges who were offering short term computer courses. They were also doing very well. Some had higher tuition fees, but most offered lower fees. As a franchisee, we cannot change the courses as well as policies on the fees.
So, I was afraid that our courses won’t sell. I had the same thought as most business owners have: We were serving the same market, and other than Ateneo, we had the most expensive tuition fee. Or so I thought.
On the day we opened, we were shocked! There was a long waiting line that went almost around the building. And when the doors opened, the line became an unruly crowd. People were pushing to get in and enrol.
That was the day I learned an important marketing and business strategy lesson: stop being a commodity like the others.
So what is the opposite of commodity? Of course it is a specialty good or service. Examples of specialty goods are: Organic Jasmine Rice, Himalayan Sea Salt, Jollibee yumburger, Free range eggs, or Organic Eggs. For gold, it can be something like hand-made Philippine heirloom jewelry. For services naman, there are ordinary clinics and hospitals, where when you get sick, you want to die already. And then, there is St. Luke’s Hospital where you pay double but you are willing to pay because the service from the Manong directing traffic to the guards, the receptionists, the nurses, the technicians and even to the the Doctors are the best.
So, back to STI. Many schools are competing against each other and nobody can differentiate what they are offering except for the prices of their courses. While STI does not compete with them. It is in a league of its own. It has a nationwide reach and is therefore more reputable than most of the other schools. What is most remarkable is that it is the only school with the E2E system. STI takes care of every student from enrollment to employment, which no other school does.
So, the only way you can be above your competitors is to stop being like the rest of them.
Stop being a commodity.
Start offering specialized service or selling a specialized product!
In the next post, you will learn the second step of how you can grow your business when you have many competitors serving the same market as you do, and possibly going into a price war with you.
Tell us in the comments about one thing you can do to become a specialized business so we can give you feedback!
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