How To Give Your Small Business a Competitive Edge
We live in a competitive world and every year millions of people start new businesses. Unfortunately, most of them subsequently fail. If you can survive the early years, your business stands an excellent chance of success. However, in order to maximize your chances, you need to maintain a competitive edge, which is easier said than done.
Larger, established businesses have more tools at their disposal. They are able to recruit the most experienced people and pay for them to attend cutting edge management courses such as the Six Sigma Master Black Belt. It’s harder for smaller businesses, as they have fewer resources. Nevertheless, it is not impossible. All you need to do is to have a defined strategy for staying ahead of your business rivals.
Know Who Your Customers Are
You need to know to whom you are marketing your products and services. Without a clear idea of who your target customer is, it is very difficult to come up with an effective marketing strategy. To find this out, trawl through customer data and conduct market research. This should give you a clearer picture of the type of person who buys from you.
Carve Out A Niche
You need a unique selling point. It’s hard to be competitive when there are fifty other companies all selling the exact same product as you. The only way you can gain a competitive edge is by slashing the price or offering something different. Since price cuts can only go in one direction, the best way to gain an edge is to differentiate your business from its rivals. Look at what your customers want, whether it is great service or niche products, and deliver.
Great Customer Service
Customer service is vital, since much of your business will come from existing customers. People waste no time posting poor reviews online when they have received bad customer service. Poor reviews will hurt your brand whereas great reviews could give you the edge in a competitive marketplace.
Target New Markets
Once you have built a successful business, start looking to expand into new markets. The internet makes it incredibly easy to access the overseas markets. But if this isn’t feasible, look at targeting new groups of customers who might not be aware of what you have to offer.
Motivate And Inspire Staff
You need great staff to keep your business healthy. At an absolute minimum, you need to pay staff competitive wages, and creating a happy, productive workplace is arguably the most important. Look after your employees and they will be loyal and hardworking.
Be Forward Thinking
Many businesses fail to put any effort into research and development. This is a mistake. You need to invest in new ideas and technology if you want the business to move forward. Think ahead and figure out where you want to be in five years, and then work towards your goals.