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Posts Tagged ‘Competition’

Learning from the Past: KikScore’s Top Twelve Blog Posts of 2011 for Small Businesses and Startups

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

It’s been a great year for KikScore! We’ve gained partners, garnered press, interviewed tons of great startups, and released our first white paper. Sounds like a winning year to me. That’s why we put together a list of our top blog posts for 2011. By highlighting some of our beloved posts, we can reflect on what KikScore has accomplished through the year as well as go over some information that we believe is important enough to bear repeating for small business. We hope you enjoy!

#12: 5 Ways to Develop a Killer Brand for Your Small Business and Startup

If you are looking to establish a good brand name for your business, then this post is for you. Although it’s daunting to see big businesses with huge budgets for marketing and advertising, there are cheaper and more effective ways to build your brand. This post goes over the different ways in which you can deal with your customers and make their experiences so great that your brand will practically build itself.

#11: 7 Questions A Small Business or Startup Should Ask Themselves Every Day

It’s critical to ask yourself important questions. Even if it is just to make sure that you know the answer instead of just thinking you know the answer. This post discusses several questions that you need to ask to make sure that your business is headed in the right direction.

#10: The Day in Pictures & Tweets at the 2011 SmallBizSummit

Just as the title says, this post is a compilation of pictures and tweets from the 2011 SmallBizSummit. Here you can find great quotes and images that focus around how all small businesses should act and what they should do. Take a look and feel like you were there yourself.

#9: 5 Reasons that Startups & SmallBiz Must Engage Their Customers

If you think that this list is already beating up the idea of paying attention to customers, then you aren’t thinking like a business should. This next post builds upon the ways to really engage customers and see results. Give it a read and try the advice for yourself. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

#8: Web Design Contracts – Protect Yourself & Your New Business

This guest post, written by Gregg Hand, is of vital importance when preparing to set up a website. We’ve all heard the speech about why we have to read the fine print before signing a contract. However, now that you’re helping to make a contract with a web designer, you must be twice as cautious. If you’ve never had to make this type of contract, this post can help you with a set of helpful advice on what to look out for.

#7: Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Fail Series

(Procrastination; Competition; Marketing; Clients; Employees; Versatility; Location; Cash Flow (Followup); Closed Mind; Planning)

Here is a series of posts that we’ve worked on throughout the year in an effort to help small businesses understand what they must avoid. Some say that learning from the past is one of the best ways to prevent certain future events. There’s at least some truth to this saying, so we hope that this series will help your business avoid the easily avoidable.

#6: KikScore SmallBiz Interviews’ Greatest Hits & Top Strategy Tips for Entrepreneurs (Part I and Part II)

These posts use quotes from businesses that KikScore has interviewed in the past regarding lessons they’ve learned and challenges they’ve faced. Each quote has years of experience in ingrained in it, so they’re worth the reading.

#5: Championship Sports Teams…What Do They Teach Us for the Small Business & Startup Arena

Bringing together two seemingly different dynamics, this post talks about how the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Boston Bruins’ respective teamwork reflect how teams in small businesses must act. Just as in sports teams, the members of your business must be willing to work together and take risks. Take a look and see for yourself just how true this is.

#4: 3 Tools for Boosting Your Business’ Image

This post goes over some tools that all businesses can use, so we think it is worth making the cut. Each tool is free and KikScore utilizes all of them. What are they, you ask? Well there would be no point in referring back to the article if we just said it here, so you’ll just have to look at the post for yourself.

#3: Nonprofit or Going for Broke: Ways to Demonstrate Your Business is Legitimate & Trustworthy

Rather than discussing all small businesses, this post gives advice to nonprofits. Whether for profit or not, all businesses suffer from trust issues. If you are having issues with your nonprofit or even just looking for a way to make it better, this post can help.

#2: #SmallBizChat Highlights – Tips on How to Make Your SmallBiz Website Look Trustworthy and Credible

Here we recap our great experience of being the guest of honor for #SmallBizChat on Twitter. It was a great way for us to take and answer different questions about how small businesses deal with online trust. A slideshow is included in the post, so feel free to check it out.

#1: Shoppers Trust Businesses Who Share More Information – KikScore Online Trust Survey Finds

Another important hallmark of KikScore’s year is the recent issuing of our first white paper, which is discussed in this post. It took a lot of time and a lot of research, but it came out great. If you are interested in online trust and how it impacts small business, take a look at this post and KikScore’s white paper.

We’ve had a great year all-in-all and we anticipate that 2012 will be even better! We appreciate everyone who has worked with us and taken the time to help us this year and we hope you all have a great 2012!

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Posts Tagged ‘Competition’

Kebabs, $18 Wine & Customer Service – A Small Business Story of Feeding on the New Competition

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

This is a story about one of my my family’s favorite neighborhood restaurants and what they have done to respond when the competition has literally moved right next door.  My wife and I love middle eastern food. I could easily live on a meal plan of  hummus, lamb kabobs, donner platters and falafel for lunch and dinner…..yes, call me crazy but I really like good middle eastern food.  So one of our favorite restaurants is called Pasha Bistro and is literally right down the street from our house (and one of KikScore’s offices!).  So my wife and I either make the trek over there or order out from Pasha Bistro almost once a week.  And we are not the only ones.  We have close friends in the neighborhood who also love Pasha Bistro too.  So much so, that on a recent night out at a spring bbq, a number of the attendees spent way too much time talking about what were our favorite menu items and even discussing a comparison on Pasha’s fantastic and extra garlicy hummus versus other more watered down hummus from lesser take out places (Mike, yes, that includes Lebanese Taverna the place he drags us all each time he is in DC- by the way for anyone with real taste buds and not from Fargo, Pasha is so much better than that Taverna!).  Bottom line, if you are in DC and especially in Dupont Circle, check Pasha Bistro out you will not regret it.

So what’s the point to this story?  Well the big talk in the neighborhood this summer in DC has been, Did you see who moved right next door to Pasha Bistro? Well that formerly empty location next door to Pasha Bistro was only known to me as the nasty bar where I had to watch the Red Sox complete their inevitable come back from a 3-1 series deficit in 2007 and beat my Cleveland Indians to advance to the World Series. It is now a brand new Mediterranean restaurant called Agora.  Take that Pasha Bistro the owners of Agora must have thought when they opened up in newly renovated digs, right next door.  The two restaurants are so close that a diner eating on the patio at Pasha can literally reach over a small patio fence that separates the two restaurant’s respective patios and swipe his bread in the hummus dish of a customer at Agora.

So when you were the only Middle Eastern restaurant on the block (17th Street) for years and build up a large and loyal following, what did Pasha Bistro do in response to Agora’s arrival right next door?  Well all of us small businesses and startups can take a lesson from what Pasha Bistro did to fight back against Agora over the last few months since its opening:

1) Beat them with customer service – So Pasha Bistro typically has good customer service when we eat there or order take out from the restaurant.  But when we visited Pasha after the “new neighbor” arrived, the service was amazing.  Every little item related to our dining experience seemed like it was focused on by the wait staff at Pasha.  They greeted us even more warmly then ever, they fawned over us before, during and after dinner and they truly looked after us.  The Pasha Bistro staff clearly went the extra mile and made that dinner out even more enjoyable that on previous occasions by being just so amazingly customer focused.

2) Emphasize your strengths – So when the competition moved in, it was almost like Pasha said lets ignore those Turkish invaders on 17th Street.  Pasha did not get distracted by trying to introduce new food dishes and entrees to compete.  Instead, Pasha cooked the same food the same way and the dishes remained first rate, the customer service (which was already a highlight) only got better and Pasha focused on one main ingredient, keeping their customers happy.  These were (and are) Pasha’s strengths and what the ownership did was played to those strengths every day at dinner when new and returning customers came to dine.

3)  Focused on your target market – The invading restaurant clearly was pushing more of an “upscale” dining experience that even included a chef standing outside decked out in a head to toe white chefs outfit with that funny hat. It would have been easy for Pasha to abandon their target market and try to go after the more “upscale” diners.  Instead, Pasha remained loyal to serving their target market of casual middle eastern dining.  There was no white table cloths or stuffy waiters – Pasha just said keep it casual and keep it good – real good.

4) Create unique offerings that keep your loyal customers happy – Following up on the last point, Pasha actually said from a strategic perspective what can we do to further solidify our customer base?  Pasha created a great, every day special that appeals to all diners (that especially like to have a drink with dinner!) and that is an $18 special for any bottle of wine, any day of the week including weekends.  And no, Pasha did not fill their wine list with Boone’s Farm or Mad Dog and try to sell that for $18.  They largely kept their same wine list with good wines and applied this great discounted offering for any dinner.  With this new deal, they got my wife and I hooked and a bunch of my other friends in the neighborhood too.  The $18 a bottle wine offer was a great competitive response by Pasha Cafe to Agora that allowed Pasha to lock in their customers and give us something new to keep bringing us all back.

5) Do not freak out when the competition moves in – From all of this, the one thing is clear and admirable: Pasha Bistro did not freak out when Agora moved in next door. They could have and in many instances you hear of small businesses and startups that freak out when they get a little competition.  The learning from here from Pasha’s experience is they took a deep breathe and said lets go on the offensive, but lets also be smart, targeted and tactical about going on the offensive against Agora.  That is the key here, Pasha mounted a competitive response to the new entry and now Pasha just needs to sit back and keep executing on their response to Agora.

What do you think about Pasha Bistro’s response to Agora?  Please tell us your stories of responding to a competitor moving next door.

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