Welcome to the ever-challenging business sphere, teeming with aggressive competitors. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process since everyone wants to take the top flight. Yes! Only the strong survive.
For every business out there, the goal is to maximize profit, even if that means spying on and fine-tuning a competitor’s idea. As a matter of fact, 72% of businesses shut down after suffering from data theft. That sounds cruel, doesn’t it?
But such is the order of the business world, and if you’re looking to thrive and stay ahead of the fearsome competition, you have to beat your rivals at their own game.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the show or you intend to start in a fresh and untapped industry; trust me, it’s only a matter of time before your idea takes center stage and you’ll be left with no choice but to watch others join you. And now for the good news! You’ve come across a masterpiece. In this guide, we’ll take you through 7 tips that will not only keep you ahead of your competitors, but at a pace they’ll never be able to catch up with. Keep reading to learn more.
How to stay ahead of your competition
1.Conduct a market analysis
As a business owner, it’s not safe to dive into something when you do not have your facts and figures in place. The results could be catastrophic.
To be more explicit, the global market is ever-changing, and there is always a rise and fall in demand for various commodities at different points in time.
In order to assist businesses in making data-driven decisions, US-based market research companies have multiplied over time, making it easy for organizations to get a grip on market trends and channel their resources in the right direction.
By conducting a market research;
- You have a better understanding of the purchasing habits of consumers and their needs
- You get practical insights that enhances your decision making process and finally,
- You discover and leverage the marketing trends before your rivals, keeping you one step ahead.
2.Know your competitors
If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. It doesn’t matter if you own a small to midsize business and your competitors are large budget organizations; it’s important that you observe your most strategic competitors to seek answers you can eventually exploit.
- What are they offering? Understand how people respond to the goods and services of your competitors and compare it with the response you get from your customers. Perhaps your services aren’t meeting up with the changing market trends.
- What are their strengths? Identify their unique selling points (USP), and the strategies they employ to attract and retain the target customers and recognize what makes you different. Come up with your USP and make it more alluring.
- What are their weaknesses? No matter how perfect your competitors may seem, there’ll always be a flaw in their strategies even if it appears insignificant. You need to capitalize on every lapse that appears in your competitor’s tactics.
3.Set competitive pricing
If you’re looking for a faster way to beat the competition, then cutting down the prices of your goods and services may be a great idea. One of the many benefits you’ll derive from conducting proper market research is the pricing strategy of rival businesses.
Once you have your facts and figures in place, compare and contrast your competitors’ prices and identify which of them offers the best value.
Keep in mind that the market is segmented based on customer standards. While customers fall in the lower, middle, or upper classes, it’s left to you to identify your target audience and set your prices to fall within the scope of or be less than your competitor’s offer.
The fact remains that lowering your prices may not necessarily be the best pricing strategy, but a proper understanding of your business landscape will keep you informed of the best course of action.
4.Know your customers
Heads up now! Here is where it gets a bit tactical. Human wants are insatiable, and your customers will always yearn for more. The term “customer loyalty” does exist, but it takes a lot of hard work and consistency to stay at the top of customers’ minds.
Keep in mind that customers will readily opt in for better deals, so if you’re looking to consistently attract and retain more customers, you must factor them into all of your business decisions. To understand your customer’s thoughts;
- Throw in an element of empathy,
- Listen to your customer’s pain points,
- Welcome their suggestions, and
- Make them feel the warm sensation of your brand
If you’re too focused on your profit margins, you may lose sight of your customers’ grievances, and they won’t hesitate to patronize rival businesses that make them a priority. Worse still, getting them back may be impossible.
5.Go with the flow
There’s a lot to gain from staying updated with the latest technological trends, as it allows you to optimize the overall customer experience.
Customers’ demands are constantly changing, and they will most likely stick to a brand that elevates their social credibility, even if it means spending a fortune. This means that they need a brand that can align its services with social trends.
One of the best ways to outclass your competitors is by positioning your business in a manner that makes your customers feel like they can measure up socially.
When customers choose your brand because you offer the best deals, there’s every tendency that they’ll lose interest if they get something better. But when they see it as a thing of pride to associate with your brand, you have a greater chance of earning their complete loyalty.
6.Step up your marketing strategy
Oftentimes, many businesses underutilize the full potential of cyberspace. We’re in the digital age, and there’s virtually no business that can thrive in this period without leveraging social media handles to create brand awareness.
More and more people are now surfing the internet and have become technologically savvy in the process. You can exploit the social media space to communicate your brand’s intent and why your customers should choose you over your competitors.
Come up with promotional ideas to gain the attention of your target audience. Introduce discounts or first-purchase coupons. Better still, you can make it more interesting by having people enter a competition that comes with jaw-dropping prizes.
7.Build an unparalleled workforce
Speaking of maintaining a top position in the business realm, your strategies won’t yield any positive results if you don’t have an efficient team. Having a team of highly motivated employees will help fast-track the growth of your business.
Promote an atmosphere that enhances creativity and motivation in your workplace and have an open door policy that lets employees make contributions toward organizational progress. You never know what brilliant idea you might stumble upon from an employee that will put you ahead of the game.
One of the great ways to increase the efficiency of your team is to leverage the hiring process. Getting your recruitment phase right means getting your business right. To identify the best talents;
- Painstakingly screen the resumes,
- Keep track of your applicants
- Engage shortlisted candidates in the interview session and
- Embrace diversity when selecting new hires
When you have a team that drives efficiency, only then will you have the chance of keeping your competitors on their toes.
Are you ready to run?
Starting a business is quite easy, but sustaining it comes with a lot of tough grind, and no one ever said it was going to get any easier. Every business that became an industry giant was the product of hard work and consistency.
There will be wins to celebrate, just as there will be losses to deal with. It’s important that you remain focused and proactive when dealing with failures. Every setback you experience gives you a chance to re-strategize and get your head back in the game.
There isn’t a finish line in this race; you’ve got to keep running without showing any signs of slowing down. The competition is set to get tougher with time, especially when you become a head honcho in the business sphere.
So rather than getting overly immersed in your success, strive to keep your competitors at a pace they’ll never be able to catch up with, and that’s how you know you’ve won.
Rilwan Kazeem is a freelance content writer, and an enthusiastic one at that. He has been in the writing world for three years. Being an explorer and reader, he engages his readers with in-depth and thought-provoking blogs and articles.