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As with all businesses, you will have competition. At first it may not seem obvious, especially if you've carefully chosen your niche and location. It will take a little investigative work to determine where your potential customers currently get their engraved products. You may be surprised to find out that in some instances they are purchased through the mail. Some companies provide a wide range of gift items that can be personalized. Others specialize in just one product: pet tags or engraved safety and directional signage, for example. A visit to the local chain hardware store will reveal different types of signage that can be purchased without special order. Don't let this form of competition discourage you. This is not the business most engravers want nor are they easy to compete with. Focus on the other local engraving shops that fail to offer your line of products or services and capitalize on their weaknesses. Here's a list of items to consider when developing a strategy to beat your competitors:
It may come as a surprise to many readers, especially those of you who are new to the awards and recognition industry, that many engravers willingly share their expertise, knowledge and ideas with their competitors. You're probably wondering why. I did too when I first joined the industry. I believe it is because most of us share a love for this industry and we accept that there is plenty of business out there to go around. I am pleased to report that most engravers not only share their experiences with each other, but also will often refer work to the local shop best able to do the job. So, don't overlook the advantages of making friends "in the business."