You need not wait till January 1, before you plan your marketing strategy and tactic on how to stay ahead of your competition in business in the coming year.
Start now to review your business activities of the past year to look for ways to make short and long-term positive changes where necessary.
According to this article, for companies, sustaining a consistently high level of performance requires unique capabilities that may differ sharply from the strategies they used to succeed.
If you operate in an industry where little distinguishes your product or service from your competition, as a business leader, you need to make sure that your core processes and strategy set you apart from the rest.
Here are a few of the areas you need to focus on in 2019 that will help your business stay ahead of the competition in the market.
Know Your Competition in Business
To stay ahead of the competition, think less about what you want to do and more about how competitors can and will hurt you.
Study your competitors and the big players in your specific industry. Find out what they are doing to keep up and increase their market share and find out how you can put in place their strategies within the limits of your resources and environment.
For you to know how to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to know who your competition in business is.
Who are your existing competitors and new players in your niche? What is their USP? What will make a customer choose your competitors over you and vice-versa?
Capitalise on the weaknesses of your competitors to make these your strengths.
For instance, if your competitors are weak in providing after-sales support, then strive to make that your strength.
Do not copy your competitors! Copying your competitors can be very detrimental to your business!
Instead, consider strategic ways that you can implement in your business things that your competitors might have missed.
Strive to discover unique opportunities that will keep you a step or two ahead of your competitors at all times.
Know Your Customers
Whether you like it or not, your customers are your boss. Without them, you will not be in business. It’s as simple as that.
If you operate B2B company studying your customer’s business imperatives, the brand’s mission, competitive threats and the consumer’s perspective.
Your customer’s expectations are not static! They can change on a whim according to their economic circumstances. So, do you know what your customer’s expectations are now?
I’m not talking about your customer’s expectations last week, last month, last year or the past five years. I’m talking about their expectations at this very moment! Do you know?
A word of caution, though; don’t get too engrossed in market research. Many times, customers don’t even know what they want unless you show it to them!
It’s your job as a business owner to understand your customers so well that you can provide them with the right product or service that satisfies your customer at the right moment!
Don’t spend all your resources fishing for new customers and neglect your existing customers. Focus on strengthening your relationship with your current customers.
They have been the ones keeping you in business until now, and as the saying goes, old friends are the best.
Keep the lines of communication open with your existing customers and ask for their opinion on how you can improve their experience with your brand.
Where proper, offer perks, discounts, etc. to show your appreciation to your long-term customers and discourage them from abandoning you for your competitors.
Have in mind that it cost more to get a new client than to keep an existing client. Every client you lose (because of not meeting their needs) not only translates to a loss of income but also means an increase in the client base of your competitor!
Focus on Your Employees
In the struggle to stay ahead of our competitors, our greatest asset may be our employees! Your competitors may duplicate your strategy and tactics, but not your employees.
If someone asks you the following questions, what will be your response?
- Are you motivating your employees to do well and rewarding them when they do?
- Do your employees have a voice and know that their advice is vital to the growth of your business?
- Do your employees have a vibrant working atmosphere?
- Do your employees have access to the right tools, technology, and training?
Focusing on your employees is not only about money. Once employees feel motivated and secure in their jobs, they will strive to put in their best.
Since your employees are the ones dealing with your customers, if you treat your employees well, they will go the extra mile to make the customer experience a pleasant and memorable one.
Focusing on your employees will also help you to weed out any employee that does not value your company culture and keep those who do.
There’s no point wasting time with an employee that has no regard for your company culture.Keeping up with the latest developments in your industry, investing in new technology etc. will go a long way in keeping you ahead of your competitors. Click To Tweet
Improve Your Marketing Efforts
Are you making it easy and rewarding for your existing customers to recommend you to their family and friends? Do you offer perks such as a “refer-a-friend” discount to your current and new customers?
Remember that word-of-mouth is one of the best marketing efforts available. But also remember that the same word-of-mouth which satisfied customers can use to help you grow your business, dissatisfied customers can also use it to destroy your business.
In today’s digital world, a single unfavourable tweet, post or review on social media can hurt your brand. Investing money in your digital and social media marketing can be a significant change for your brand.
Make more effort to tell people who you are, what you do, and why they should patronise your brand. Your marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be strategic.
But don’t cut costs so as not to give the impression that your brand is of a lower value than your competitors. You need to show confidence and prove that you are worth your customer’s money.
Continually measure the results of your marketing campaigns and make improvements. Learn from your data what’s working and what’s not. Improve what’s working and do away with what’s not working.
Are you innovative and improving the quality of your product or services? Do you invest in the latest technology to boost production and improve the quality of your products and services? Are you thinking to explore new markets, forming strategic alliances, exploring new locations?
A study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that use technology to grow faster and create more jobs than SMBs with low levels of technology adoption.
Follow an 80-20 rule that allows you to get things done at a reasonable level instead of aiming for 100% perfection, which will help you innovate quickly.
Keeping up with the latest developments in your industry, investing in new technology, etc. will go a long way in keeping you ahead of your competitors.
For example, Apple uses its cash hoard to maintain a decisive advantage over its rivals: When new component technologies (touchscreens, chips, LED displays) first come out, they are costly to produce, and building a factory that can provide them in mass quantities is even more expensive.
Stay Ahead of Your Competition in Business
In our digital age, it’s challenging to stay ahead of your competition. However, the slightest advancement or advantage can mean the difference between you staying ahead of your competitors in 2019 or not.
Have it at the back of your mind that, whatever way you decide to stay ahead of the competition, your plan-of-action will evolve and change with industry trends, customer input or franchise activity.
You need to take a step back and check your business with a fresh pair of eyes. Engaging the services of a digital marketer will help you stay ahead of your competition.
So why are you waiting? Schedule a marketing consultation session with me now!
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I look forward to helping you grow your business online and stay ahead of your competition.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only. You should always get independent, professional accounting, financial and legal advice before making any business decisions.
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