How To Keep Ahead Of Your Competition

Whatever kind of business you run, keeping ahead of the competition demands strategic planning and constant attention. If your customers stop spending and the reason is they’ve found a better alternative, it’s time to start defending your position in the market and ensure that you maintain a competitive advantage.

Here’s how:

Do your research. Knowledge is power, and this is never truer when it comes to getting ahead of your competition. You can’t hope to do so unless you know them so do your research and find out who your main competitors are and then examine what it is they are doing, and do it better.

Know your customers. There is nothing more important in business then striving to understand your customers. If you don’t bother learning who your customers are and what they want you can’t hope to be the place that they go to to find answers, satisfy needs, and solve problems. Spend time getting to know your customer, and you’ll better understand what they want and what’s important to them and be able to tailor your products and services to meet their needs better.

Be different. If you want to stand out from your competitors, you need to be different. Have a strong, clear USP that’s designed to meet and surpass your customer’s expectations. It should be obvious why you are different and what makes you the right choice for your customers over any alternatives.

Focus on marketing. You can’t expect to gain an advantage over the competition if your customers don’t even know you exist. No matter how great your product or exciting your USP. So every business must invest time and money into marketing efforts to make their business more visible and more appealing to their customer base.

Pay attention to your brand. Your brand is your image, and your image is everything. What do you want your customer to think when they see your logo? Innovative? Helpful? Reliable? Cheap? Make sure you take steps to make your company recognizable, trustworthy and start thinking of ways to build up your reputation, so you become one of the market leaders in your field.

Look after your existing customers. Remember, while it is essential to focus on expansion and to reach new customers if you want your business to grow, your old ones are its roots, its foundation. Don’t forget to reward loyalty, or you’ll lose as many customers as you gain and never get anywhere. Think about it; your current customers are your competitor’s target market, they are out there trying to think of ways to get them to buy from them instead of you, so you need to make it worth their while to stay.

Move into new markets and offer new products. The more markets you can tap into, the more potential your business has. If you can increase your customer base this way you are simultaneously decreasing risk, as if one market isn’t performing well you aren’t relying on it alone. Additionally, if you expand your offer, as in the products and services you sell, you could naturally attract customers who weren’t available to you before.

Be a great employer. A business gets nowhere fast without its employees so make sure that you let the people who work for know they are valued and that you appreciate what you do. A skilled and loyal workforce can make a massive difference to how well your business does so don’t neglect them!

Keeping planning for the future. Remember, if you want to continue to beat the competition you need to keep working. So always plan for the future and develop your business, so it still stays one step ahead!

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