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Expecting a Transition? MJM’s Account Team Helps You Avoid the Pitfalls

Change is inevitable. Key leaders will retire or move on. New locations will be opened or a smaller business will be acquired. Technology will improve your operations, but disrupt your workflow for a season. No business, including yours, is immune to these and many other changes.

MJM’s account team has helped navigate all manner of business transitions for clients. Here’s their advice for handling change well.


Abby Rogers

Abby Rogers

Communicate change from the inside out. Start internally with those most vested in the organization and work your way out. Once everyone on your team knows, move on to your referral networks and vendors. Announcing your news to the public should be your last step.


Justin Mootz

Justin Mootz

It’s tempting to skip it, but a basic communication plan complete with a tentative timeline is a must before announcing any change. The process of drafting the plan will bring up logistics you may not have anticipated. It also provides a reference so that everyone tells the same story consistently and confidently. You can’t take back your words and a communication plan will help you get them right the first time.


Bobbi Trumbull

Acquiring another business is a common transition, and it’s wise to acknowledge that, while your ultimate goal is one unified team, the business you’re acquiring comes with an already-established culture. You can move the needle, but don’t expect to do it overnight.


Courtney Davidson

Courtney Davidson

You’ve likely had the benefit of months of research and time to get used to what you’re planning to roll out, but your team will need time to get used to your proposed changes. Be patient and receive their pushback graciously. Teams tend to come together once they’ve had time to get used to the changes.

Pinpointing the Competition Starts With Your Customers

Scoping out your competitors is to business what a flashlight is to hiking in the dark.

In a word, it’s essential.

However, selecting which competitors you’ll keep tabs on can also be overwhelming. A Google search can bring back hundreds of businesses similar to yours, making it hard to choose which to watch and which to ignore. Even companies with seemingly obvious competitors can overlook valuable data if they don’t have a solid approach to pinpointing who their competition really is.

If we’ve learned anything about competitor research at MJM, it’s this: begin with a thorough profile of your ideal customer. Why? Because understanding your customers’ values and mindset will lead straight to the places where they spend their time and dollars.

As you build customer profiles, keep in mind that consumers are often buying experiences, identities, or even aspirations more than they’re buying goods and services. Gym membership, anybody? Many of the other companies that your ideal customers do business with are your competitors even though they may occupy different spaces. A restaurant and a clothing boutique are markedly different, but because both vie for the same slice of a consumer’s household budget — in this case, disposable income — they become competitors.

This isn’t to say that if you’re trying to market your dental practice you shouldn’t monitor other practices. You should do that, too.

Here are a few tips for selecting your direct competitors:

  • Google search. We panned it at the beginning of this article, but here’s how to get it right. Instead of searching “dentists in Orlando,” which will bring back too many results, search your own business instead. Then, look at the four or five results that surround it. For comparison’s sake, you should search your version of “dentists in Orlando” to see how you rank among the larger pool of similar businesses, but when it comes to those you really want to dig into, keep it to the few who lead the search results when you search your specific business by name.
  • Old-fashioned sleuthing. Not all your research has to be digital. Local and national magazines cater to specific demographics. Find one that reaches yours and flip through it. Who’s advertising in it? Likewise, billboard and outdoor advertising in the part of town your customers frequent or the commercials during television shows, podcasts, or radio programs they prefer are good places to pay attention. This includes both over the air and streaming platforms.
  • Just ask. Being direct always yields results. Draft a survey or, if possible, talk to your customers in person about the other companies they do business with. Asking for their preferences takes out the guesswork, but be sure to approach your interview so that customers give their honest feedback rather than what fits your agenda.
  • Use digital tools and platforms. Google offers competitor analysis tools that show which companies compete most with your content on search engines. Facebook has rolled out a similar program, and if you pay for digital ads, there are plenty of tools to gauge how much traction you’re getting among your competitors.

Pinpointing a few competitors to monitor is essential, but being overwhelmed by it isn’t. Implementing just a few of the tips above will have you reaping the benefits in no time.

To get you started on your customer profile, we’ve compiled a report on how the pandemic has influenced consumer behavior. Download yours: