The internet has fundamentally changed the way we buy most products. A little site called Amazon.com has become one of the world’s largest retailers. A web search quickly lets you know who has the best price on a product and whether it is in stock. It is awfully convenient for consumers and dramatically increases the competition for retailers.
While the internet has not had quite as big of an impact on service providers, it has significantly changed the game. There are three fundamental ways it has changed the way service providers do business:
1) Online Reviews
It is now wickedly simple to review a service provider. Most reviews are from those who were very impressed by your service or very disappointed. Those in the middle are less likely to leave reviews unless prompted. That means that you need to understand where potential customers are looking for reviews and have a strategy to get regular reviews from customers who are satisfied, just in case you occasionally get a dissatisfied customer (we all do no matter how good we are).
2) Broader Competition
More and more service providers are figuring out how to deliver their services online. Webinars, video conferencing and overnight delivery is making it less relevant where someone is located when you choose to do business with them. That means that it is ever more important to be focused on a niche where you can bring the most value (whether it is locally or throughout the country).
3) More Delivery Options
While some service providers remain focused on local customers, many are looking beyond local markets to deliver their expertise online across the country and possibly the globe. The same avenues that bring global competition to your local market allow you to compete across the country and world: webinars, video conferencing and electronic delivery. So, you should at least consider how you can deliver your services online.
The important thing is to be aware of the changes in your marketplace, and think about the threats and opportunities they provide you. If you want any help figuring out the changes in your marketplace and the best way to respond, don't hesitate to contact us.