What can an education or migration agent do to stay ahead in agency business competition? With thousands of new organizations sprouting out globally, the race to the top is getting tougher by the minute. Now more than ever, education and migration agencies need to stay ahead of the curve. Investment and hard work is the key to success for any business. But this might not be enough to remain competitive in the global market. You will have to work on and develop healthy strategies to survive through the massive competition.
There are multiple factors to consider while developing a strategy to overcome business competitors. You might even have to consider numerous variables that are out of your control. For example, changing foreign policies and the general mindset of the people on popular choices. However, there are certain non-variable factors that you can work on to stay ahead in agency business competition.
“Competitors understand your business best” – M. Colbani
Consider these things while developing a competitive strategy:
Recognize your competitors first to stay ahead in agency business competition
First and foremost, as an agent, you must learn to identify your competitors. Obviously, not all agencies are there to compete with your services. So, the ability to distinguish between them is important. Usually, an education or migration agency providing the same service or working with the same partners, might be considered a direct competition. However, that is not entirely necessary. To recognize your competitors, you must first look carefully at their online presence, including advertisement, social media presence, and also the marketing strategies. You will then discover your real competitors.
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For instance, the ones whose marketing strategies resembles yours the closest, are the ones that you need to be on a lookout as your marketing strategies may attract a particular audience. But if another agency is using a similar technique, apparently your clients will be drawn to their approach too. So, if you want to stay ahead in agency business competition, you must keep this in mind.
Follow your competitors’ marketing & PR strategy
Marketing strategy is everything for a successful education or migration office. Hence, following your competitors’ marketing strategy is one of the most efficient methods to compete against a strong business rival. Like I said before, analyzing their marketing strategy and doing what they do, will help you pool in like-minded clients. Always keep your ears open for what your competitors are doing. Their social media presence and public relations strategy are also significant. So, remember what channels they use and how efficiently they are using it. You can even approach industry influencers to publicize your agency. There may be popular blogs or opinion generators in your industry. Endorsing them to talk about your company in public events and social media, will surely give it a significant boost.
Nowadays, everyone with a smartphone is on social media. As you may know, Facebook currently has more than 2 billion registered users, which opens up a significant marketing opportunity. Traditional outbound marketing is going extinct, and if you want to survive the modern market, you have to maintain the pace. Step up your marketing and go digital. See how your competitors are using social media but don’t mimic their process entirely. Do something similar, yet different. Digital marketing is all about trying various methods and determining what works best for your business. For instance, posting industry related memes could generate more traffic than only posting advertisements.
Maintaining a strong PR presence is essential for any enterprise. It signifies your presence in the business community to the public. Hence, maintaining a strong PR presence will help your stay ahead in agency business competition. Conducting international education and migration seminars is a simple example of how agencies can improve their PR.
Always explore and look for opportunities in new markets
Possibilities for a new market is abundant in the agency business. Despite stricter foreign policies by powerful nations like the US, overall international immigration is bound to increase. New destinations for migrants are emerging every day. For example, countries like India, China, and Brazil are also becoming popular choices for education and tourism. Opening your horizons to such possibilities will help you stay competitive in a growing market.
If onshore agency competition is fierce, you can also expand your business to handle clients that are interested in offshore endeavors. Clients looking for onshore services are picky and are more likely care more about discounts. But most offshore clients are worried about visa more than service cuts. They are easier for you to handle and their expectations are also easily manageable. However, opening foreign offices also comes with its risks and a separate brand of competition. However, you must always be willing to explore new opportunities as it is one the best method to stay ahead in agency business competition.
Align with your competitors for a stronger business position
There are numerous benefits of having real business competitors, and you can learn a lot from them. Aligning with your competitors is not unheard of in education and migration agency business. Agencies tend to collaborate with other agencies and subagents when clients want a particular service that they don’t provide. It is, in fact, the best part of the business. Honestly, agencies don’t get far without collaborative work, especially if you’re a start-up.
Aligning with your competition helps you get a better perspective of the business. It also helps you expand your business network of sub agents and referrers. Attracting a larger client base becomes easier. It also helps you diversify your services. You should never limit your services to only a few partners and products. To be successful, you must build alliances and take risks. Eventually, your business will grow and remain competitive in the global market.
Stay updated with latest industry news, trends, and technology
The importance of staying updated with the latest industry news, trends and technology cannot be stressed enough. It can very well be the defining factor that sets you apart from your competition. In a highly competitive global market, the most efficient manner to conduct any business is under constant research. Hence, people come up with new ideas and innovations to increase productivity and efficiency. As an agent, you must also learn to adapt to these changes.
“Reading is golden for making a mark in your industry or an idea. I am constantly reading to analyze trends or talking to people to gain a new perspective. More recently, I have been trying to take more time to talk with our customers about what’s happening in different industries. That’s when you really get an insider view into what people are currently thinking and can discover creative ideas for the future.”
—Ashley M. Williams, founder and CEO of RIZZARR
For example, as an education or migration agent, you must stay updated with the latest immigration policies from around the globe. You can also see how other agencies are managing their offices. Making use of a CRM for international students recruitment or an agency management platform can also help you stay ahead in agency business competition. Always look for better ways to improve office performance and efficiency.
Be ethical with your duties towards your Clients
Well, it is true that no one pays for business ethics and morals. However, it reflects your work, and people always appreciate honesty. Every business has its ethical dilemmas. And it seems necessary sometimes, to keep ethics aside in order to survive in a highly competitive market. It’s not always necessary. As an agent, you must learn to separate yourself this vicious-cycle. Conducting business unethically is very short sighted. Agents tend to give off more discounts than they can afford or providing commission based counseling to increase profits. However, if the client is not happy with your service, it will hamper your reputation.
Agency business highly dependent on hear-say marketing so, always strive to deliver excellent agency services. Meaning, if your existing clients are happy, you can attract newer clients through references. You must, therefore, keep a clean image of yourself and be ethical to stay ahead in agency business competition.
In a market that is rapidly saturating, there is no way you can avoid business competition entirely. So, it’s best to be prepared. Don’t be caught off-guard by your business competition. Always be vigilant of the market and never be afraid to try new things if you want to stay ahead in agency business competition.