Competition is Always Opportunity.
No, but really: it’s not a terrible thing to have a competing business nearby. Have you ever noticed how similar businesses will cluster together? The most obvious example is car dealerships – almost every city has an “Auto Row.” But it also happens to Chinese restaurants, hardware stores, antique stores, and fast-food places: it increases ‘mind-share’ for the geographic area. In the world of economics, this effect is called economies of agglomeration.
For secondhand stores (like antique or consignment stores), this is a particular boon. If you work for a sense of your individual identity and brand, this should give you peace about your local competition. Your inventory will be unique, and there’ll be almost no overlap with your competitors. And whatever store attracts the initial traffic will benefit all the other stores in the area. It’s also a great benefit to have slightly different stores in the same area (a vintage store next to a children’s store, for instance).
But use the competition to see ways you can improve.
- Could you have more convenient hours?
- Better customer service?
- Easier consignment procedures?
- Quicker point-of-sale capabilities?
- Better branding, cash wrap, lighting, or store layout?
Competition is a catalyst for business analysis. Now is the time to consolidate busywork and start making your business stand out. (Believe it or not, there’s software that actually manages your store so you can focus on doing just that: becoming a booming business. ConsignCloud will blow your mind. Check it out.)
If you have a strong sense of your own identity, competition allows you to clarify your identity to your customers and consignors. Is your inventory all over the place, or have you figured out what you like best and emphasized it? If not, what are you waiting for? Here are a slew of great ideas for how to brand your business, display your merchandise, and find clean, quick back-of-house procedures to run your store better.