SUREFIRE STRATEGIES TO INCREASE YOUR MARKET SHARE June 13, 2023 | Business Tips , Franchise | client satisfaction , inspection industry , business growth , entrepreneur By David Stamper, NPI, Inc.'s President & CFO Running a small business is a lot of responsibility to take on. Owners need to not only become experts in their field and in their industry, but they also need to stay up to date on key market research if they want their business to succeed. When it comes to building your small business and tracking market research, there are few concerns that outrank your business’ market share. Market share is, simply put, a percentage of your business’ earnings compared to the total business done within your market over a particular period of time. While a business owner’s goal should always be to build their business’ percentage of market share, there are many benefits to tracking direct competitors’ market share as well. To learn more about how to build your market share, let’s review some strategies on how to get started. Perform a Competitive Analysis The first step to increase your market share should be to gain an awareness of your business’ position in your market compared to your competitors. Although it may be difficult to find hard numbers that break down your competitors’ exact market share, you should be able to check a few key factors for comparison. For this exercise to be worthwhile, take some time to select the most important areas that determine your business’ success in your area, and then identify your main competitors. Direct competitors, which are the businesses that perform the same service as yours, can be broken down by which services they provide, their prices, their marketing strategy, and their online reputation. By doing this, opportunities for growth can become obvious. High demand services that might not be offered, like radon testing or sewer scopes, could be added into your current service offerings. In addition, increasing your presence on Facebook or LinkedIn when your competitors might be inactive is another opportunity to increase your business’ reach. Market research is important for businesses that are looking to grow and remain competitive. Remember that these examples for comparison are by no means exhaustive. Take the time to determine which aspects of your competition would be most valuable for investigation considering your unique market situation. Lastly, it’s crucial to be as honest as possible during these comparative exercises. Remember, the more areas where you find your business coming up short of expectations, the more opportunities you have to advance. Invest in Existing Clients After performing a competitive analysis, it may be tempting to immediately implement a litany of changes in order to take advantage of gaps in your area’s service standards. While these changes are sure to benefit your business, established relationships are usually the source of the majority of “transactions” across industries. From a sales perspective, entrepreneurial news professionals at Business.com report that, “...current customers spend 67% more on average than those who are new to your business.” In the property inspection industry, this means that long-standing relationships with agents should always be a focus for inspectors. Loyal agents and clients can develop into spokespeople citing your professionalism and quality of service, winning powerful leads and referrals. These trusted associates can also be reliable sources for trends in your region regarding what services are being asked for, and which practices are ineffective. Advocating for yourself is a good practice, but nothing builds credibility better than external endorsements. Perform Acquisitions When Possible Businesses will naturally build relationships over time, they will make mistakes, and they will have their own breakthroughs. Growing a business’ slice of their region’s revenue is usually a gradual process that doesn’t dramatically change in a short amount of time. However, there is one strategy that can have a radical immediate impact on a business’ market share: acquisitions. Since the home inspection industry is particularly driven by relationships, high value inspectors that leave a company and strike out on their own, or join another business are likely to bring agents along with them. With this in mind, business owners should recognize the value that their employees provide, and prepare for opportunities to acquire other experienced, active inspectors into their team. This strategy can occur through purchasing a competitor’s business outright, absorbing their key employees into an existing team; or through hiring new team members after another business’ owner retires or otherwise moves away from the industry. In these situations, building your new team’s rapport can be difficult. Strong work culture starts with open communication - be ready to learn from what made their previous business successful, and incorporate those techniques into your own business! To learn more about using social media to boost your business profile, check out this previous topic on storytelling ! If you’d like to learn more about how franchising with NPI can set your home inspection business up for success, get your free info packet today! About the Author David Stamper, President & CFO NPI Inc.'s President and Chief Financial Officer David Stamper holds a B.S. in Accounting and Mathematics from Buena Vista University and currently manages day-to-day business activities, performs the company’s accounting functions, coordinates software development and assists with long-term planning. In addition to his management duties, David also helps train and mentor new franchisees and provides business management support for current franchise owners.