Things to Do: How to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Did you know that there are almost six million firms in America? Believe it or not, this number is still growing. If you happen to be either one of the firms or plan to join the entrepreneur world, you need to do something to be able to make your business not just stand out but also ensure that you are ahead of your competition.

The question is this: with people who never run out of innovative ideas, how can you stand out among the rest?

You can try these techniques:

1. Start by knowing your competitors.

You can never be ahead of the competition if you don’t know who you’re competing with. Find out what they are offering, any promos employed, and their unique selling points. This will not only make you aware of the areas you need to compete in but also come up with a platform that will differentiate you from the rest.

2. Customers are (always) right.

…especially if you want to be ahead of the competition.

Aside from your competitors, your existing and future customers will set you apart from millions of businesses around the world. Find out what your existing customers such as latest product, lower price, or more flexible services. This will help you review and revise your marketing strategies to entice both existing and potential customers. You can pick up something from them, which you can use to improve your business.

Also, don’t be afraid to tap new target market, especially if they will benefit from the product or service you are offering. Take the risk by increasing your customer base because at the end of the day, word of mouth can still be a powerful tool to make people aware of what you can offer.

3. Boost your marketing plan.

It’s not enough that people know you exist. There are people who know your competitors but don’t have any idea that you are in the market as well. If you want them to go to you, then you need to introduce yourself to them.

Therefore, give your marketing plan a boost. You can start by improving your market positioning statement that will tell the customers what sets you apart from the rest. Take advantage of social media and keep your followers posted of the latest. Traditional marketing strategies still work, so don’t underestimate that sticker about your company pasted in your car or giving out flyers.

4. Think about the future.

They say one thing that is constant is change. In the world of business, those who refuse to accept change are often those who don’t last long.

To stay ahead of your competition, you need to let go of the mistakes from the past, go past the present, and start looking at the future. Set your business’ short, medium, and long-term goals, know the latest consumer trends, pay attention to what’s new in the market, and consider investing in new technology if your business will benefit from it. Being 10 steps ahead will definitely help in setting you apart from your competition.

5. Take it easy on cost cutting.

Cost cutting is fine. It allows you to still offer the same product or service that you are known for but for reduced costs. As a result, you can still maximize your profits. The problem with this is that there is a higher possibility that you might compromise the quality of what you are offering, which could drive away customers in the long run.

Should you cut costs? It depends, but it’s not advisable that you do it all the time. This will eliminate your chance of executing something new in the business, thereby making you weaker. The worst part is your competitors will recognize this weakness and consider it as an opportunity for them to grow and boost their profitability – at your expense.

6. Improve continuously.

Your customers learned about you because of what you can offer. Still, this doesn’t mean you should stop there. If you want to be ahead in the game, then you need to add “improve” in your vocabulary. Look at your weak points and target them to make them better.

Consequently, don’t be afraid to improve or upgrade your unique selling points. Customers want something new, so go ahead and offer that – as long as it will make the company better.

7. Pay attention to your employees.

Did you know that the success of a business is also dependent on how you treat your employees? The better you treat them, the more motivated they will be, which could translate to better performance as well.

Therefore, give what is due, keep them motivated, encourage programs that will help them improve their skills, and don’t be afraid to hire new, young, yet skilled individuals. Learn to listen to your employees, acknowledge ideas that could help improve your business, and accept your mistakes. These tricks boost your employees’ morale, which helps increase your business’ profitability.

Are you ready to stay ahead of the competition?  

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About Debasis Pradhan

Debasis has over a decade worth of exclusive experience in the field of Software Quality Assurance, Software Development and Testing. He writes here to share some of his interesting experiences with fellow testers.


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