As we are in the beginning days of 2019, it’s a good time to assess how we are positioned to do business this year and where we align with similar or competing businesses and services. This is the time when we can make changes to our direction that will affect our success course for the remainder of the year. It’s not so much that we need to be concerned with a narrow, finite market because it is growing tremendously, but it’s a question of how much market share we can claim and attract for ourselves.
In nearly every market, there are going to be existing services that people are using for remodeling and renovation services, as well as those services provided by plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople that people are using to make variously sized repairs to their homes. If we are in the contracting field, we have to determine how to increase our market share – especially with those seeking aging in place renovation services that will allow them to continue living in their homes.
If we are doing independent occupational or physical therapy consulting, we have to make sure that the marketplace knows that we are available to perform assessments and home evaluations apart from those being done through hospitals, rehab centers, home health, and other facilities. We have competition, but there is a huge field available. We just have to determine where we fit in and how large of a share we want. There also is the project management aspect to the services we provide.
For interior designers, durable medical equipment, flooring, lighting, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, windows, doors, cabinetry, and other aspects that factor into aging in place renovations, the amount of competition that exists in our community likely will be dependent upon the population size and how people’s needs are being met currently. There could be businesses such as home improvement or home decor centers that are attempting to fulfill multiple roles in designing solutions for their customers and clients – meaning competition for us. For businesses actually similar to ours, we may have several competitors or just a few. In some cases, it could be just us – for now.
The main thing we need to do in this coming year to establish ourselves as special in the marketplace and to get people looking to us to provide the services they seek for themselves or for their clients is to determine what makes us different for other providers and then communicate that to the public. The marketplace isn’t always going to know that they need to choose a specialist like us to address their needs and create effective solutions for their aging in place needs. In the internet age in which we live, people can always go online and attempt to find a lower price for a service, but they don’t always know what they are getting for that lower price. Part of our story to the public (in our website, social media profiles, flyers, and other marketing that we do) is educating them on what we do and why selecting us to help them is their best choice.
However, before that can happen, we must be clear ourselves on why we are the best choice – especially when we have competition for the services we offer. Whether someone can go to a warehouse store, a home center, a specialty store, or find another professional to provide the services and products they think they need, we have to position ourselves as the leader in our marketplace and answer the simple question of why we are better suited to serve their needs than anyone or anyplace else.
We need to think of why we are special to our potential clients and then make sure that this is part of our marketing message. We can be trained as certified aging in place professionals, we can be licensed contractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, interior designers, architects, real estate agents, and many other professions, but likely we aren’t the only ones in our marketplace who have these credentials.
Therefore, we have to (1) start with our professional background and specific training we possess that qualifies us to perform the work the client needs and that we advertise we can do, (2) incorporate our range of work experience that showcases the types of solutions we have created and the issues that have been addressed, (3) discuss how we approach creating aging in place solutions and the types of clients we have helped as well as the ones we are seeking to work with, and (4) elaborate on the strength of our professional network and design team that we bring to an assignment to offer a complete package of services to our clients.
We must determine what makes us special in our marketplace and why someone should engage us rather than using a competitor, trying to find solutions online, or working with a company that offers many services rather than just focusing on aging in place solutions and products.
When we answer these questions to ourselves, then we can answer the larger question of why someone should work with us because we will have made that clear to us.