Lose Your Competitive Advantage And You Will Fail
It doesn’t matter what type of business you, own what sector you operate in or where you operate out of, the market is most definitely saturated with competition, and stiff competition at that. It is just the nature of business these days. Sure, there may have been a time when your family owned the only butcher in town and people flooded into your store to satisfy their every need. But not anymore, and that could be because someone else opened up a butcher, or a supermarket plonked itself on the edge of town or because you didn’t prepare for the rise of the internet properly.
It could be that you are simply a small business that doesn’t believe it can compete with the bigger boys out there. Well, you can. It is just a matter of knowing how. It is just a matter of gaining a little bit of competitive advantage, a concept that changes as much as the wind. It is a matter of constantly adjusting your business, adapting with the times and evolving with your customer’s needs. It is about knowing how the market is acting and reacting to it quickly and correctly. It is a about knowing your customers, your competition, you company and your challenges. All of these have a massive role to play in having a competitive advantage that will prevent you from losing out to your competition.
Yes, there is a lot to think about, but don’t despair, because we have come up with an extensive list to help you stay on top.
Know Your Customers
So many companies make the grave error of believing they know exactly what their customer’s want and they know exactly how to give it to them, but this is usually a product of their ego and guesswork instead of factual information. And what better source of information is there than to ask your customers what they want. Connect with your customers, ask for their opinion about your product or service and listen to what they have to say. You may think this will make you look like an amateur, but you’d be wrong. Engaging with customers is one of the most effective forms of safeguarding your business. They will realise that you care about them, they will see it as a means of getting a better product or service, and that will mean they are spending the same but on something that is more suited to their needs. What’s more, if you start to build a real relationship with your customer’s then they will feel valued, which would see them continue to use you and not seek out your competitors. People change and this because their needs change, or their circumstances change, so make sure you see this change and react to it.
Increase Your Customer Service
One of the best lessons anyone can learn from business is that no one needs what you have. It doesn’t matter if it is a product or a service, chances are no one needs it because either it is a luxury or they can get it from someone else. What sets you apart is the experience they get from your business and that is why customer service is so important, especially to smaller businesses who perhaps can’t compete on price. This is what makes you stand out from the bigger businesses, the ones that don’t have a face, just a big shiny skyscraper. But how do you improve your customer service. Well, it could be that you offer a live chat tool on your website, in which case the better your internet connect the better. If you’re not sure where to look for that then look at the best modem wifi router combo reviews – Ultimate Guide 2017. It could be that you focus on training your staff so that they know what good customer service looks like and how to deliver it. It could be that you try and ensure staff retention, something that would see you have the right team in place for longer, reducing your training costs while also ensuring they can build relationships with customers. After all, a lot of customers like knowing what to expect from a service.
The Challenges Posed By Competitors
Without knowing what your competitors are up to, you cannot possibly react. You cannot change your way of working, or your focus, or your strategy, and that could see your become as archaic as a Spinning Jenny. A great example of this is Blockbuster failing to see what Netflix was doing. Blockbuster was the market leader by a long shot. They had at least one store in every town. But Netflix quickly took over by seeing a small gap and producing a mail order service, which they then build off to create a cinema-killer. The same goes for Nokia. Everyone had a Nokia. Everyone played snake. But they are nowhere to be seen anymore. It’s not like Apple took over and they became number 2. They fell off the ladder completely. That is why it is so important to know who your competitors are, what they are doing, which strategies they are using and how they plan on shaking up the industry.
The Importance of Value
If you are a small company, then chances are you can’t offer a product at the same value as one of the bigger companies out there. As such, you need to offer value. If you are selling a product or service that is more expensive and not as good then you are not going to survive. So offer the best value you can. Customer’s don’t just want the cheapest thing they can find because they know that won’t be the best thing, and that it will probably cost them a lot more in the long run. That is why people are so concerned with value. We go on Amazon and we read three reviews of twelve different options before deciding that we are going to buy it. So be the best value and the price won’t matter.