Increase your market share


The Business Gateway (www.bgateway.com) is another useful reference site for small businesses to glean tips and advice when weighing up your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Evaluating your marketplace is something that all small businesses should do when looking to increase market share. 

There are many ways to sell more to existing customers and potential customers like them. But before you start trying to maximise your market share, you need to make sure you fully understand how you are perceived by both existing and potential customers.

Work out the key questions

The first stage is to address the core questions about who buys from you, how and when they buy. You need to be clear about:

  • who your customers are
  • what they buy
  • why they buy
  • how they buy
  • who else could buy from you
  • the typical budget of existing and new buyers
  • where else they buy from

Position for the future

Remember that the reasons customers buy from you now will not necessarily be the reasons they buy from you in six months or a year’s time. And if you consider expected trends in customer behaviour and your market, you may be the first to exploit a niche and gain market share quickly.

For example, how will your customers prefer to place orders? While they may prefer a phone call or face-to-face visit now, is there a trend in your market for online ordering systems? If you are one of the first businesses in your sector to offer the facility, you could gain significant market share.

Predicted future developments in your marketplace could also provide significant opportunities for growth. For example, with the growth of home computing, IT support has developed from a mainly business-to-business service to a larger customer base of consumers.

Use your research to get as clear a picture of the future as you can. It’s often difficult to predict with certainty – but the more you know about how your customers and market will look in the medium to long term, the more likely you are to successfully build your market share.

You can use commercial market research to assess trends in your sector.

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