No matter how small or large your business is, you need something that gives you an edge over your competitors. This edge can be anything that helps your business develop quickly, smartly, and with an eye towards being financially stable while still being able to grow and expand. Here are five different strategies you can use to get ahead of your competition.
Look at Your Competition
Some businesses focus solely on their products because they believe that if they develop the best, customers will come to them. This means they often reinvent the wheel because they don’t stop and look at what their competition is doing. New businesses can skip a lot of the trial and error phase by taking a look at how the competition does certain things. Of course, these techniques need to be evaluated to make sure they really are the best practices and that they can be fully adapted to your business. Generally, however, if all or most of your competition is doing things a certain way, that’s most likely because it’s the best.
Be a Good Employer
Some business owners may not see the connection between being a good employer and having a successful business, but it’s there. By offering a competitive wage, an attractive benefits package, and a comfortable work environment, you’ll attract employees who are highly skilled and enthusiastic about joining your team. You’ll also retain employees instead of losing them to the competition, a major advantage in creating the strongest business you can.
Employees who feel valued will be more motivated to contribute to the company’s success and take on extra work when needed. Happy employees have better interaction with customers, which in turn makes your customers feel welcomed and important to your business. When employees are obviously not happy with their jobs, people pick up on it and subconsciously associate this unhappiness with your business.
Once you’ve found the products or services that have established your business as a leader in the field, you may find that you have a little breathing room to simply sit back and let your business make a profit. But you can’t allow yourself to rely on those products and services forever. There may come a time when a competitor can offer them cheaper or better than you do, or an innovation in your industry could make your products or services obsolete. You have to be ready to take risks and explore new ideas.
That doesn’t mean you want to jump at anything new, of course. You need to study the market, what your consumers want, and whether the risk is worth putting your business in potential jeopardy. Some new ventures may simply be too risky at the time, but that doesn’t mean the idea isn’t valid. It may be something that needs to be revisited at a later date.
Make Use of Web Conferencing Tools
If you have multiple office sites located across the country or even around the world, you’re going to need to make sure the different teams at these locations are all on the same page. Having a web conference is one easy way of doing that. There are many different web conferencing tools available that you can use for this like UberConference, CiscoWebex, AnyMeeting, etc. By keeping all of your teams in constant contact with each other via video conferences, email, instant messenger, and phone, you’ll gain valuable advantages:
- Pool your team’s resources
- Avoid accidental work duplication
- Give experts at multiple sites the chance to contribute to projects
Evaluate your Strategies
All businesses start with some basic strategies for production, marketing, hiring, etc. These basic strategies are often fairly standard in the beginning, but as your business grows and becomes more defined, these strategies need to grow, too. You need to stop every now and then as ask yourself if your company’s strategies are truly working. If they aren’t, then it’s time to critically evaluate the reasons behind this and develop new strategies that do work. This will set you apart from those companies that press on with strategies that have been in place since the beginning simply because that’s how they have always done things.
By employing these five strategies, you’ll be able to set your business apart from some of your competitors in some way. Some may not provide employees with the best work environment, while others may not take risks. It’s okay if your business isn’t completely different from your competitors, but you have to stand out in the same way or risk fading into the background and losing your market share to companies willing to be different. If you have any strategies that have worked for your business, we’d love to hear about them.