Gone are the days when starting a business was fairly risk-free because of low competition. Today, with widespread internet connectivity and increased social media usage, competition has grown by leaps and bounds across all sectors. Companies are leveraging technology to expand globally, which brings global competitors right to your local market. Because customers have a wide range of choices, failure to meet their demands will throw you out of business instantly. Here are 5 smart ways to stay on top of the competition.
1. Study and Understand Your Competitors
Knowing where your competitors stand will help you devise strategies for outclassing them. You will only obtain this information by doing thorough research on your competitors. Take time to study and analyze what they offer, how they market themselves on social media platforms, the kind of content they publish, and their overall marketing plan.
Study how and where your competitors market their products. Do they target their social media initiatives to prominent platforms like Facebook or Twitter? How are their sales? Look at how they engage their followers on social media platforms. How frequently do they respond to both positive and negative comments? When you analyze all these factors meticulously, you’ll be able to discover their Unique Selling Point (USP). But don’t copy their strategies. Instead, identify things that can help you stay ahead of them.
2. Determine and Address Your Customers’ Needs
In this digital age, the customers’ demands and requirements change at a fast-paced rate. At one moment, they might be looking for low-priced products and then in the next, they are searching for the newest arrivals. So it’s important to find out what exactly your customers’ current needs are.
Ask open-ended questions to help you gather as much information as possible about your customers’ needs. The idea here is to offer solutions to both existing and prospective customers by providing them with what they actually need rather than concentrating on ensuring all your products are sold. You need to satisfy the need, not just “selling” anything. Once you fill the gap that your competitors have created, you’ll see an uptick in your sales.
3. Be Innovative
Collect ideas about strategies for growing your business. Great ideas can come from your customers, employees, suppliers, and even competitors. They come up when you receive criticism, suggestions, or make mistakes. Take your time to reflect on ways you can streamline a process to improve how you run your company and what you offer.
Is there a cheaper and better method to attain impressive results? Will it enhance your customer experience? Will it draw new customers to your business? These questions should be crossing your mind while you’re coming up with innovative ways to improve your business.
4. Put in Place a Plan for Growth
Are you planning to expand globally? Or you just want to open new locations in your current market? If your business isn’t growing it’s dying and your competitors are taking advantage of your situation to expand their market share. So it’s important to have a clear picture of where you want to take your business in a few years and the steps you must take to help you get there.
Determine how you’ll grow your business and grow the sales of what you’re currently offering. For instance, you may add new products or services that supplement your current ones. You may also broaden your customer base to help you spread your risks.
5. Make Your Customer Support Highly Responsive
Excellent customer service allows you to maintain existing customers and gain new ones. Outstanding pre-sale support increases your chance of getting new customers. Exemplary post-purchase support, on the other hand, helps nurture long-lasting connections with your customers and builds loyalty. But the whole idea of exceptional customer support is quite subjective in the current world of instant gratification.
Almost everyone is ready to part with a significant amount of money to get what they need right away. The same applies to your customers – they require quick responses from you as far as customer support is involved. In fact, 73 percent of consumers believe that the best way a business can offer outstanding customer service is by valuing their time. So you should always respond swiftly to your customers irrespective of the means they’re using to reach out to you. Remember to make your responses as comprehensive and satisfactory as possible. Identify the amount of customer traffic that your business can accommodate and choose the communications channels you’ll use to engage your customers.
With competition in the business world growing exponentially, businesses need to continuously revise their marketing strategy to survive. They also need to put in place a solid growth plan. The above tips will help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.