Ten Steps To Stay Ahead Of The Competition

One thing I like to instil into business leaders is that they are the strategic thinkers in their company – if they don’t do this nobody will! So it’s an important part of their role to regularly review what they’re doing, and if you complete the following you’re well on the way to achieving this.

  1. Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they offer and what makes them unique. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.
  2. Know your customers. Customer expectations change. Find out what matters to your customers now – is it price, flexibility, service etc. and update your sales and marketing accordingly.
  3. Differentiate. It’s essential your customers know what makes you different.
  4. Step up your marketing. Make more effort to tell people who you are, what you sell and why they should buy from you.
  5. Update your image. Look at how customers will perceive you – does it reflect the values in your products and services, and these should be reflecyed in everything about your company e.g. business cards, stationery, website etc.
  6. Look after your existing customers. They’re hard to get and your competitors want them! What can you offer that makes them feel special?
  7. Target new markets. Selling into more markets can increase your customer base and spread your risk.
  8. Expand your offer. What related products or services might your customers be interested in, and/or you might diversify into another area that fits alongside your existing business.
  9. Be the best employer. There are probably more of them than you, so how can you make them motivated and really feel part of the company.
  10. Plan ahead. Businesses that plan for growth are more successful than those that don’t; you should have a clear idea of where you want to be in 1, 3, and 5 years’ time.

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