Why Service-based businesses should NEVER compete on price
The industry of service-based businesses can seem highly competitive and cutthroat. It is easy to get caught up and follow what everyone else is doing. Unfortunately, when we focus more on others and less on improving ourselves, we adopt a scarcity mindset. We compromise what makes us unique that would have attracted our ideal client.
Today, Annemarie Cross shares what she learned in the industry, from her early days in the coaching and podcast scene to her present thought leadership. She provides invaluable insights into what truly grows service-based businesses. Annemarie also talks about turning our competitors into colleagues and sharing our expertise to ultimately offer better services to clients.
If you want to know where to focus to grow your service-based business, then this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Understand why you should never compare, compete and compromise.
- Learn how to embrace your uniqueness, whether it's your experience, quirks, or expertise.
- Discover the importance of sticking to a mission and vision for service-based businesses.
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[02:07] Annemarie’s Experience with Service-Based Businesses
- Annemarie’s first business is around career coaching, particularly in the career development area.
- She started working with entrepreneurs while podcasting.
- She helped fellow changemakers build their brand and reputation while launching their podcasts even before podcasts were mainstream.
- If you are a specialist in your field, don’t compete with the lower price points in the market.
[04:00] Don’t Compare and Compete
- You are unique — never compare yourself to others.
- Never compete because it can be distracting. It also brings your self-worth down.
- There’s no such thing as competition. You should only measure your progress with your past self.
- Focus on your customers and figure out the best value proposition you can offer to fill their gaps.
- Other service-based businesses are not just your competition. You can team up with them to create better offerings.
[10:23] Never Compromise
- A specific market and ideal clients are waiting for your knowledge, quirky style and expertise.
- Competing comes from a scarcity mindset and a feeling that you’re not enough.
- You shouldn't compromise who you are just to fulfil what you think you should be doing.
- Being in this situation is difficult because you are constantly trying to find ways to be someone you aren't.
[12:59] Be Clear on What Sets You Apart
- It’s challenging to reach your ideal client if you aren’t intentional with your message.
- There’s so much online noise, and being specific is key to getting your value across.
- Ask yourself, “What problems do my clients struggle with, and what solutions would I suggest?”
- What was the outcome of you trying to implement a solution to a common industry problem?
- Identify the challenges you helped your clients overcome.
[17:37] Embrace Your Time in the Industry
- Evaluate whether your offers are outdated in today’s marketplace.
- Age should not matter when it comes to relevance, especially when competing with other service-based businesses and tech-savvy individuals.
- With time comes experience that you cannot buy with any course or in a short time frame.
- Being mature is an advantage. Having hindsight provides the necessary foresight to tackle potential problems.
[20:57] Own Your Unique Characteristics
- Your quirks, wacky mannerisms and sense of humour are all important when you interact with your ideal clients.
- Avoid negating your experience by not being yourself.
- Showcase your thought leadership in the market.
- Annemarie realised that service-based businesses both have repeatable and flexible processes.
[26:05] Target Your Ideal Client
- If you try to speak to everyone, you are essentially speaking to no one.
- Know everything about your ideal client, from their challenges, pain points, motivations and mindsets.
- You have to be clear on who you want to focus on to communicate your brand well.
[29:03] Be Decisive with Your Mission-Vision
- Don’t chase the shiny distractions that seem like good ideas on the surface.
- You have to commit to a decision and look straight ahead.
- A mission and vision will serve as a benchmark for your service-based business. Adhere to it all the time.
- Your programs may change, but you have to be mindful about sticking to your mission and vision.
- When you are purposeful and intentional with building your service-based business, you will see it grow steadily.
10 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
[04:27] ‘Never compare yourself with others. Never compare. Because you are incomparable, no one has the blend of your experience, the blend of your knowledge, the blend of challenges overcome, initiatives implemented, things that you came up with that maybe no one else has done in the marketplace or even aspects of your work. No one has that unique blend’.
[06:50] ‘If you want to compete with someone, make that the person who you were yesterday, last week, last month. Let that be the line that you are measuring yourself up against; let that be the driving force’.
[10:00] ‘Please don't look at your industry as competing. Select the others that are doing a marvelous job in your industry, and maybe look at creating a strategy that you can become alliance partners, referral partners, joint venture partners. There's no such thing as competition’.
[11:01] ‘I tell you that there is a market, there is an ideal client waiting for you to bring your expertise, your knowledge in your quirky style, whatever that may be. So don't hide it’.
[12:58] ‘You have to spend some time to get really, really clear on what sets you apart. If you're not able to list a number of those key things, then it's very difficult for your ideal customer, your ideal alliance partner, referral partner — anyone who could become a stakeholder in your business — to support you or do business with you. It's very difficult for them to be able to see that if you can't see it yourself’.
[18:24] ‘I tell you that time develops a level of experience, maturity and character that cannot be bought in a course, that cannot be brought forward in a customer relationship after a 7-week, whatever timeframe. It can only be brought forward after years and years of boots on the ground’.
[20:57] ‘No one can copy your character, your mannerisms, your wacky sense of humour, your ability to communicate, your ability to listen, your ability to draw something out, that perhaps people have not been able to see. And that's something that your ideal client is looking for, depending on the industry. Please do not negate that experience’.
[26:06] ‘Get clear on your ideal client, and speak to them. Not everyone. Speak to them. If you speak to everyone, you speak to no one’.
[30:37] ‘Creating a mission and a vision — my mission and vision have stayed the same. Plans have changed, programs have changed’.
[33:03] ‘When you have that vision and that mission and those intentional steps that you're taking to build your business — the right steps, the right support, the right community — that is when you take purposeful, intentional action, and begin to see your business grow steadily’.
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To successfully grow service-based businesses, we should not get caught up in the distractions around us. Comparing ourselves with others, competing with colleagues and compromising our uniqueness can hinder our progress.
Focusing on your clients is key when it comes to building a business. If you enjoyed today's episode of Ambitious Entrepreneur Podcast, then hit subscribe now!
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