7 Simple Tips That Are Proven to Help You Stay Ahead of the Competition

 

So you’ve created a successful business, congratulations! You probably did it by providing an unsurpassed level of customer service that not only meets customer expectations but exceeds them in a way that has made you stand out from the rest. As anyone can tell you, starting a successful business is not easy.

Now comes the even harder part. Not only sustaining that high level of performance, but continuing to grow and outpace the competition. There is no resting on your laurels in a competitive business market. Companies that stay successful for the longterm, make an active effort to keep on top. Here are just a few ways you can do the same.

1) Know the competition.

It’s not enough to know what you excel at or what makes you unique, you need to know what your competitors are offering that makes them stand out. This serves two purposes:  it will allow you to more clearly define your differences, or it may help you identify an area that you hadn’t considered before, opening up a potentially new way in which you can excel above the rest.

2) Know your customers.

You might know your clientele very well, but as economic conditions change, so does your customer’s needs. What might have been a priority a year ago, won’t be if we are in the midst of an economic downturn, for example. As a business owner you should always be evaluating your strategies in every area constantly, knowing what your customer wants and needs from you is key. In fact you should be using your expertise to analyze potential market changes and anticipate those needs to stay ahead of the curve.

3) Have a strong understanding on what makes you unique.

Once you accomplish the first two, you should have a clear idea of what unique advantage you offer people. This needs to be clear to everyone, so you can then take that idea and run with it. Find your niche and then market yourself with a focus on that idea. If you have a clear thing you’re selling,  it is well worth the investment to market yourself to the hilt with that in mind.

4) Keep up to date

This goes for everything from technology to systems, marketing, and even your own personal image. If you have a brick and mortar location, you want to also keep things looking fresh and modern there, as well. First impressions are important for a reason. Everything about your business should tie into your marketing and branding. What are you selling and does everything line up to support that, from your business cards to your social media pages. Remember the key to branding and marketing is a consistent message.

5) Think like your competitors.

One way your competitors looks to gain customers is by potentially taking yours. It goes without saying, you don’t want to let that happen. You’ve probably built great relationships, so really maintain those relationships by not only providing great service, but service that truly goes above and beyond. Find ways to give more to your customers. You might even want to start offering surveys, where your clients can tell you exactly what they’d like to see.This makes your clients not only feel heard, but blown away when you implement any changes they suggest.

6) Look for untapped markets.

Don’t settle for maintaining what you have, there could be untapped markets out there. IF you don’t get to them, your competitors will. So even if they come eventually, hopefully you’ll already be the dominate force in that market..

7) Be a great boss.

One of the best things you can do to keep ahead of the rest, is by being a company where top talent and motivated newcomers want to be. Be the company that offers more than a competitive paycheck. Be a place that fosters talent, and offers scheduling and compensations packages that appeal more to people who think outside of the box. This will attract more innovative thinkers who value flexibility. Not only will you benefit from their talents, more importantly, your competition won’t.