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VOL. 132 | NO. 167 | Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to Stand Out From Your Competition

DJ Naylor

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Over the past couple of years, Tennessee has experienced a boom in several areas of business.

In fact, the state experienced an 8.7 percent gain in new business filings in 2017’s first quarter, according to the Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report released by the Secretary of State’s office.

Here in Memphis, that growth is evident, especially in the restaurant and bar scene. With neighborhoods like Overton Square, Broad Avenue and the Highland Strip recently undergoing revitalization, the local dining industry in Memphis is as competitive as ever.

Despite the surge in competition, our restaurant, Celtic Crossing, located in the Cooper-Young Historic District, has been in business for 12 years and has maintained stability in a very competitive marketplace.

Community growth should not be seen as a threat to older establishments. Instead, it should be treated as an opportunity as neighborhoods are becoming more interconnected and foot traffic is increasing.

So how does a business of any kind survive when competitors are opening all around you? Focus on maintaining authenticity. Identify what differentiates your establishment from the rest. Embrace what you value most and apply that to your everyday operations.

At Celtic Crossing, we have stayed true to who we are, capitalizing on offering guests a true across-the-pond experience through our unique Irish cuisine and whiskeys as well as hosting live music nearly every night of the week.

Although it is important to keep your business true to its roots, adaptability is also important. The environment will inevitably change around you, especially the longer your business is around. This does not mean you should change to an all vegan menu simply because the restaurant next door is. It means you should make small changes to better meet the needs of your customers.

For example, if the neighborhood where your business is located is becoming more residential, offer specials that draw in locals and establish yourself as the “late night neighborhood hangout.” Adapting to change is another opportunity that you can use to your advantage as it will keep your business relevant to both new customers and your regular patrons.

Patience is a virtue, especially in the world of business. It happens far too often that when a new businessperson opens a thriving spot, he or she immediately wants to open a second location. Let your original location settle into the area, establish a loyal customer base and allow your identity to resonate with the public.

Jumping to a second spot too soon could result in growing pains, neglect to your original location and existing customers, and possibly closure.

With Memphis continuously expanding, it’s easy for your business to get lost in the shuffle. If every business owner focuses on remaining authentic, adapting to changes and maintaining patience in growth, there’s plenty of room for everyone to succeed in this great city.

DJ Naylor is the owner of Celtic Crossing Irish Pub & Restaurant.

PROPERTY SALES 103 137 4,008
MORTGAGES 84 131 4,521
BUILDING PERMITS 178 368 9,636
BANKRUPTCIES 50 110 2,995