543,000. That’s how many businesses start every year in the US alone. According to the Small Business Association, at least 50 percent of these businesses are able to sustain operations for five years or more.
It doesn’t matter which segment you are in. The factors of success and growth are likely to stay common. For instance, every business faces threats from competitors. Every business must negotiate with suppliers. Every business must satisfy their customers.
If you wish to ensure the success of your business, one of the most vital factors you need to look at is competition. Even if you operate in a blue ocean, there will always be a few competitors around. To achieve optimum profits, it is essential that you stand out among competitors and always stay ahead of them in the game.
Here are the best five ways you can do so.
Match your strengths with their weakness
It is very challenging to beat someone at their own game. This is why the wiser strategy is to target the weak points of your rivals rather than trying to be better in areas they excel at.
For instance, let’s say you launch an online platform where you buy and sell cars. A competitor in the industry has succeeded in gaining a large share of the market by offering vehicles at a very low price. Here, rather than trying to compete on the basis of price, you can perfect another critical aspect of the business.
You notice that one of the major pain points of customers in the sector is the poor customer service of your competitor. Match your strength to this weakness. Deliver excellent customer service or equip each purchase with an extended guarantee. By differentiating your business from others, you can outperform your competitors.
So, before deciding what the unique selling proposition of your brand is, first invest in researching your competition. Gauge and exploit their weaknesses via your marketing tactics. Make sure your customers understand why the flaws matter and what your brand does to avoid them.
Pay attention and think about the future
A lot of businesses keep fretting about their past mistakes. Others revel on their successes for too long. If you do so, you will end up staying behind in the race. Rather than focusing on the past performance of your and your rival’s business, it is essential to think about the future.
Pay attention to the prevailing trends in the sector. Analyze the results you get. Estimate where the market is headed. This will allow you to align your business goals and strategies to potential shifts and market scenarios.
For instance, let’s assume that you are a telecom company. You now see that new technology has been introduced in other countries that further improve signals and networks. While your competitors are busy dealing with the current landscape, you can make a power move and adopt the technology first to differentiate your brand further.
Don’t rely on customer insight
Customer insight is an excellent tool for new product development and to guarantee that your product is aligned with consumer needs and wants. However, in a landscape where there are multiple other businesses offering the same solution, it means that consumer insight is no longer enough to ensure success.
This is because consumers can’t tell you a lot about your competitors. You might wonder, “Well, can’t you ask them what they like in a competing brand?” Yes, you can do so. But, merely copying the solutions of your competitors won’t work.
You need to learn what model your rivals are following to come up with such breakthrough improvements. Additionally, there is always a bias where customers would avoid telling you anything that doesn’t pertain to the solutions you offer. This bias can skew your research.
Therefore, when conducting competitor research, don’t solely rely on consumer insights.
Adapt to change
Many say that change is inevitable. And that is not just apt when it comes to someone’s personal life. Instead, it is just as likely in the world of business. The past decade as brought disruptions in a lot of sectors.
We now live in an era where smartphones and digital solutions are considered to be a necessity. These innovations created quite a havoc in the business sector.
Why do you think giants like Nokia and Kodak are no longer relevant? It is because they failed to adapt while their competitors were flexible enough to alter their business models according to changing marketing conditions!
Keeping an eye out for disruptions within your sector is a great tactic. However, you must still prepare for sudden disruptions. To do so, you must alter your company values. Promote a culture that is receptive and responsive to change.
Remember, there will be some competitors who are highly adaptable. They are your benchmark to both follow and outperform when the landscape begins changing.
Seek large clients
If you wish to pull ahead of your competitors in business, you will need significant cash flow. And this is what most companies struggle to achieve. A great way to guarantee a steady stream of revenue and cash flow is getting business from large clients.
While it is essential to target small clients as well, larger clients help you in reaching your revenue target and are much easier to service. Not to mention the high credibility you get when known and reputable clients invest in your business.
If you wish to outperform your competitors, don’t be afraid to seek out large clients. It doesn’t matter how big or small your operations are. A great elevator pitch, along with a reliable product, will attract everyone, regardless of who they are!
With these five tips, you are ready to enter the battlefield! Don’t let the magnitude or size of any competitor intimidate you. As long as you know their strengths and weaknesses, you can easily outperform them.