It’s easy in small business to lose touch with the world outside your business, to lose touch with the world your customers live in. It could be that the world as you know it has changed in ways you are not familiar with.
Take a day, yes I know that is harder than it sounds, but take a day and hunt down where people living in the area served by your newsagency could purchase any of the top twenty products or services you sell.
Search online for the items – from your home computer and using your mobile phone when out on the street near your shop. Where are people looking on-line and on-mobile being sent when searching for these top selling items on which you rely? Go have a look at those businesses. Look at them in the context of what you offer, look for points of difference.
There will be some businesses competing with you, through the search engines, that are not located near you. Consider these carefully as part of this exercise. Too often newsagents discount them – you’d only do that at your peril.
The goals here are for you to discover competitor businesses that may not have been on your radar and to learn more about how they specifically compete with your business. The insights gained could inform your business plans. They could lead to immediate changes in your business.
Consumer habits have changed significantly in recent years and smart retailers are embracing these changes. My experience is that independent small retailers are not keeping up with the changes because they are ignorant of how some people, people who may have shopped with them in the past, now shop.
So, take a day and try and compete with your business.