$100 Idea: How to capitalize on a competitor that goes out of business…

Real Estate Agent with National Real Estate Network, LLC

When competitors go out of business, don't miss the opportunity to win their customers. One of the best ways to redirect their business to your own is to have their phone calls forwarded to you. This tactic works for Zanes Bicycles, a $1.5 million independent bicycle dealer in Branford, Connecticut. By offering to pay the local Yellow Pages a small fraction of his defunct competitors remaining advertising costs, Zane arranged to have their out-of-service phone numbers ring at his shop. The fee was one third the cost of his competitor's yellow page ads totaling $200 per month.

Now when someone calls his former competitors, a message states "the number you are calling is no longer in service. If you are in need of a bicycle dealer, Zanes will be happy to serve you. To be directly connected toll-free, please press zero now." The Yellow Pages help Zanes track the transferred calls. They have received 260 calls from his competitor's customers in one month. The first day in the telephone line change, he sold the bike to a customer which called the defunct competitor.

Making a business decision is just common-sense, when you have the facts!

Next: Why you should cooperate with your competitors...

We have just completed a website that lists all the $100 Ideas by category. Every week, we will be adding to the list. Go to 100DollarBizTips.com. If you know of someone who can use our practical information, have them register at the website.

Edward King, MBA CPA
Former Director of Wayne State University's Small Business Services
Telephone: 586-771-3618
Fax: 888-756-2761 (toll-free)
E-mail: EdwKing@aol.com
Websites: TheSmallBusinessDigest.com, 100DollarBizTips.com, SmallBizKing.com (students only)

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Mark Maupin

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