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Losing a competitor


fujilab
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We've just had a neighbouring lab close down as their lease has ended and the owner has chosen not to renew. We're trying to pick what effect this will have for us in terms of volume, staffing etc. We know it will be good for us but just how good is the question. From what I can tell the shop was moderately busy and they had three kiosks which were often occupied.

Have any of you had similar recent experiences? Was the effect immediate, gradual or non-existant? As we're coming up to Christmas we want to be well prepared.

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This did happen to me a number of times, I would do a suck it and see approach, if it makes you busy, great news, but to remember that you may get a rush for the Christmas, New Year period, but then the nasty quite period.

My past experience on this was that I did not need to put any plans into action.

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Did they have any staff worth getting? You have a good opportunity if there are keen people back in the market. To find out acutally how much business they were doing talk to the suppliers. Most will be happy to share the information off the record and that could give you an indication of what is out there.

Try and find out if they had any charge/account customers you could pick up. When shops in our town closed we found they had really good trade customers and have looked after them ever since.

Most importantly see if you can put a sign up on their store directing people to you. Sounds cheeky but worked for us

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WE have had a number of local competitors close down, - and each generates a few fresh inquiries and extra business.

I agree with the previuos, - there is no need to take on eny extra staff or capacity, - the take-over of business is gradual, and you won't get it all anyway.

We found that the best promo was to ask / pay for permission to put up posters in the old shop window, - and maybe have a heap of fliers with maps there to.

The vacated shop will still get inquiries and visitors, - and the new tennants or shop fitters will get sic to death of fielding old shop customers so you will be doing them a favour - they can just point at the poster or give out your flier.

It may be worth inquiring if you can pay for 'call-divert' (cost

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My advice is to be ruthless. Its survival of the fittest and who dares will win. Get those signs up and as suggested find out how much they were doing. Could be a nice surprise if you can pick up the majority of their trade. Phil has the right idea about flyers. We did something similar and it worked well. Don't forget to add a discount coupon as an added incentive.

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