You should always strive to be ahead of the competition, whatever your business niche is. However, there are multiple things you have to achieve and work daily on, to be able to get in front. Not only that you have to be hard-working, but you should also be creative and unique. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of ideas which will, potentially, give you an advantage over the competition by making you different.
Research the competition thoroughly
It is impossible to be in front of the competition and differ from them without in-depth analysis. First, you have to make a list of all your competitors and point out their strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you have the same strengths (where you can also find the edge) and analyze their weaknesses so you can learn how to avoid them. However, don’t hesitate to offer collaboration to good competitors, if you see the benefit for both parties. Such friendships could sometimes provide a huge advantage you can’t get otherwise.
Your product or service is the key
The rule above them all – you have to make sure there is a need in the market for your product or service. Many startups have failed because of that reason. Therefore, step up in the start, do the market research, and make sure your product can solve customers’ problems. The same applies to services. Another way of making your service different is to be fast and save your customer’s time. For instance, if your car is broken, and you need a mechanic from Perth, they will come to your home and fix it. That is a reactive and fast solution that can often make a huge difference.
Know your customer base
It is essential to know your audience. You need to hear their needs, and to respond adequately. However, you can’t go too wide. You should identify a specific group of customers that need your product or service exceedingly to fix their problems. And they need to have finances for that, of course. There is one more thing you have to keep in mind when we talk about the customer base – the 80/20 rule. It means that 20% of your customers are bringing 80% of your business. Therefore, you should focus on those vital customers, and make deep relationships with them, which will further create loyalty.
Customer service is the priority
You have to spoil your customers! Fast answers to their questions are crucial for maintaining and growing the level of your business. And you have to be present everywhere – phone, social media, e-mail, etc. That is often a turning point that determines if a customer is going to buy your product or not. Your answer has to be polite, fast, and precise. When you research the competition, you will for sure see some businesses lacking good customer service. Hence, that has to be your way to take advantage. Investing in great customer service employees will be returned multiple times.
Be able to adapt your business plan
You must have a strict business plan; that is not debatable at all. And you should stick to it as long as it works. Nevertheless, you will have to adapt it from time to time if you want to increase sales, reduce losses, or adjust to new market trends. Analyze your accomplishments (or failures), see where you can do better, and make new goals and directions. The point is you have to be flexible and respond to changes in any field. Your customers will recognize it for sure.
Avoid the delay (and be responsible if it happens)
You might think this task is easy, and everyone is doing their job responsibly. But that is not true! Many businesses fail to deliver the product or show up on time. You have to ensure that every delivery reaches your customer on time. That is another crucial point if you want to create the difference. However, mistakes can happen to everyone. In that case, you have to make the right move. First, you should apologize and take responsibility for the delay. Afterwards, make it up to them. There are multiple ways to do that – offer a discount, include some additions to their purchase, etc. Responsibility is the key to maintain your reputation.
Entrepreneurship is tough and exhausting work. It is impossible to build a thriving business and grow it without being authentic and different. Do a lot of research, make the right moves based on that, and never forget that your product and customers should always come first.