10 Tips To Remain Competitive In Business

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In a market that is saturated with other similar businesses, it can be difficult to remain competitive, especially if your business is smaller when compared to your competitors. Situations like this, where it seems like there are no opportunities for your brand to stand out, can look discouraging.

However, if you find yourself constantly looking for a way to remain competitive in a highly competitive market, especially during uncertain times like this where COVID-19 is wreaking havoc, don’t fret. For the most part, there are effective strategies you can put into place starting from now to help you rise above the crowd. To get you started, here are 10 tips for remaining a competitive business.

1. Focus on your existing customers and their needs

In an attempt to get ahead of the competition, a lot of businesses make the common mistake of neglecting their existing customers in a bid to go after new customers and markets. This is the wrong way to go about things, most especially during this current pandemic. Reaching out to your current customers is vital. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot explore new market opportunities.

Simply ask yourself, ‘am I doing my best to satisfy my existing customers right now?’

Your existing customer base is your market and they are essentially what keeps you in business. So you have to make it your responsibility to continuously learn about them and their needs so that you can satisfy them. Unfortunately, businesses these days do not take the time to learn key information about their customers, and this can have negative effects on their competitiveness.

There is a lot of information you need to find out about your customers in order to best satisfy them. For example, studying their purchasing patterns and their social media activity using tools like Facebook analytics can give you insight into better ways to meet the needs of your customers and remain competitive.

2. Know your competition

There is no way you can be a competitive business if you don’t even know your competition. Knowing your competition involves a lot more than what they do, who they sell to, and how they market themselves. To really know your competition, you need to, first of all, take a look at the market.

What gap in the market is your competition filling with their products and/or services? How do they connect with their customers? Do they have personal relationships with customers? How do they tell their brand story and does this angle work in their favor? What are their strengths as a business, and what are their weaknesses? What are their opportunities in the market, and what are those things that act as threats to them? It’s a lot of questions and a lot of ground to cover, but it’s worth it.

Carrying out proper research to acquire this information, and then analyzing it gives you the rare chance to see two things. The first is how you can adopt some key strategies that work for your competition, and incorporate it into your own business. The second is how you can take advantage of the weaknesses and threats of your competition, and use it to get ahead of them.

3. Create a distinct message

Sometimes, the reason why businesses cannot attract enough customers is that their message isn’t clear enough. They communicate one thing to one set of customers while communicating another thing to another set of customers, and this obviously brings about confusion. A business with a confused message will not pull in as many customers compared to a business with a clear and distinct message. This is why you need to work on your message as well as the delivery of your message.

But how do you make your message clear? Start with constructing exactly what message about your business that you are trying to portray to customers. Once you have done that, you need to focus on how to make this message known. If your message is that ‘you will always take care of your customers’, then regardless of the communication channels you are making use of, or the audience you are targeting, you need to ensure that this message is always clear.

4. Align your brand with your message

You can have a good, clear, and distinct message that you communicate to your customers, but more than that, you need to ensure that your brand actually aligns with that message. It’s easy for your message to be that ‘you will always take care of your customers’, but if you do not have any strategies in place to actively show customers that your brand is committed to this message, then there is no way that they’ll trust you.

For example, if this is your message, there are certain ways your brand can show that it always takes care of its customers. Through your pricing, you can offer your customers the best pricing in the market to show them that you care about not exploiting them. You can equally offer them complete corporate transparency to show them that you care about being open with them. Even more, perform corporate social responsibilities in the form of community service to show them that you care about their environment. These are just a few ways your brand can align itself with your message.

5. Explore new opportunities 

Once you know that you are satisfying your existing customers and market, you can then explore new markets and opportunities. Of course, during the pandemic, it can be a bit tricky, as many businesses ceased operating. That said, this is where you can stand out from your competitors. Exploring new opportunities sometimes involves making alterations to your existing offerings in order to serve a new market. But before you can do this, you need to know that there is actually a customer base for what you want to offer. This is why carrying out market research is critical.

Before you can make an entrance into a new market, you need to have made sure that there are people willing to buy what you are selling. Once you are sure, you can then expand your business. By the time your competitors catch up, you’d have already established yourself as the market leader and attracted a huge market share.

6. Employ the right people 

A business is only as good as its employees. Business growth is only possible when you have the right kinds of people working to achieve the same goal as you. Especially now as remote working is becoming the norm, you need trustworthy and dedicated staff. What’s more, there are certain characteristics to look for in team members before bringing them on. They need to be smart, motivated, business-focused, good team players, and have relevant industry skills.

These are the people that would push your business forward. It is better to have a few good, motivated employees than to have a thousand indifferent employees. So, when making your hiring decisions, be alert.

7. Work on your marketing

You could have the best product offerings, the best business message, and a brand that aligns well with your message, but if you don’t aim to effectively market yourself, no one will know any of these things about you. It is not enough to be a good business. People need to know about you and what you do. So, putting in extra effort to market your business is important so people can know who you are, what you offer, and why they should buy from you.

The way you market your business is up to you, but try to outmatch your competitors. Create better social media posts, make sure you rank higher on Google with effective SEO practices and then try to do something they aren’t. For example, you could create your own mobile app. Not only is this a way to create an extra service for your customers, but it is also another way to gain the attention of others when they are online. Your app can also become something that customers talk about when engaging with their friends, so your marketing reach will be extended. For more on this, check this average app development cost guide.

If your business is having issues with marketing effectively and efficiently, then you might want to consider outsourcing your marketing. There are thousands of marketing agencies, like the Industrial Ideas agency, that can take over your marketing and promote your business to a wide audience. For more information, visit industrialideas.com.au.

8. Take care of your team members 

When you hire the right team members, your job doesn’t just stop there. In order to retain these employees, you need to take good care of them. Your employees are one of your biggest assets, believe it or not, and keeping them happy keeps them motivated, productive, and efficient at work.

By offering them competitive salaries, listening to their needs acting accordingly, and regularly making the effort to improve their mood and motivation in the workplace, you are communicating to your employees that you care about them, and they are more likely to remain loyal to your business. Besides, you don’t want your best employees leaving your business because they’ve been poached by your competitors who offer them better perks.

9. Be open to partnerships

One benefit of business partnerships is that they are strategic ways for you to expand your customer base and marketing. In recent times, these kinds of partnerships are becoming more and more popular. They don’t even have to be between two businesses in the same industry. They are advantageous because they are mutually beneficial.

Both businesses gain access to opportunities, information, or technology that they ordinarily would not have been able to gain access to on their own. If you are considering entering into a partnership, you have to think strategically. The partnership should be with another business that can provide you with the things you need to grow, be more competitive, and ultimately succeed in your industry.

10. Continue to deliver value

As a business looking to remain competitive in a market full of big competitors, it is easy to get tempted to prioritize your pricing over the value you deliver. This is what a lot of big businesses do. They try to run other businesses off the market by competing based on price. However, you need to resist the urge to do this, especially against bigger competitors, because you will lose.

Rather, focus on providing your customers with the best value of products/services while setting fair and realistic prices. This can actually help you remain competitive in the market. Remember that consumers ultimately will pay good amounts of money for products and services that they view as valuable, so focus on value rather than price.

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