I’ve got a soft spot for meerkats. Ever ever since I befriended one little critter on a farm in Namibia and watched his antics I just realised what intelligent and friendly little creatures they can be. I’m not sure the meerkat liked me because he would often peer into my coffee cup and then knock it onto the ground.
Meerkats work hard to collect their food especially in the dry winters of the Kalahari when insect prey dwindles. Now research by zoologists working in the Kuruman Reserve have found that the fork-tailed drongo steals up to a quarter of meerkats’ food intake.
Just how do the fork-tailed drongos manage to do this?
What the researchers have found is that the fork-tailed drongo is an excellent mimic and can imitate the alarm calls made by various species when a predator is near, according to a recent report. The birds use this technique to skiing foraging meerkats and birds such as pine babblers away from the food so they can steal it.
The fork-tell drongo as a repertoire of something like 30 sounds which it can use to scare meerkats away from their prey. The researchers said that drongos were not unusually intelligent. They had, however, evolved by using sneaky tricks to steal meerkats’ food. If one sound that they mimic doesn’t work, they use others until they fool the meerkats.
In the world of small business how often do your competitors draw your attention away from your focus so that they can steal your customers? What sneaky tricks to they have up their sleeves?
In a changing market you need to keep pace and find out what your competitors are doing because they most certainly are watching your every move. Some of the sneaky tricks that they might pull include visiting your stall to test your level of customer service and see the prices that you are offering. They may run special promotions to attract your customers. It wouldn’t be surprising if they spot your gaps or weaknesses and take advantage of you. They may even imitate what you are doing if they see it as successful. Others may even steal your best staff.
Some small businesses are also using sneaky ways to use go onto Facebook to spy on competition. They would look at your strength on Facebook and using domain statistics work out your strength and weaknesses. They could check out what freebies excite and encourage your customers to like your page. They may also carefully monitor what customers love and hate about your products or service.
You need new ideas of your own to get ahead of your competition before they steal your customers right under your nose as does the fork-tailed drongo when stealing meerkats’ food.
Can you come up with 30 different marketing methods to compete more effectively against stiffer competition in this economy? How good is your social media engagement, promotions, public relations and your service? If you stay one or two steps ahead of your competition, they’ll find it difficult to mimic your strategy and be quick enough to catch up.
In today’s small business marketplace it’s like swimming in a fishbowl where you are visible to everyone including your customers and competitors. People watch the local newspapers and advertising flyers. You need to be one step ahead of the game and adapt and cope in your business environment.
If you are looking for ways to promote your business more effectively, send me an email and I will give you a special report on low-cost and no-cost methods to increase your sales.