“What do you do when a competitor releases an e-book that undercuts your own?” That’s the question Jerry Scott of The Small Business Authority recently asked and answered in his latest article explains Peter Decaprio. However, we’re not talking about a shady rip-off like here; the story’s got a much more inspirational twist.
What does it take to stay ahead of the game in a competitive market?
We often get our best ideas when we’re trying to solve someone else’s problems, and that thinking will help you stay fresh while your competition flounders.
Here are seven ways you can keep your company ahead of the game:
1. Read industry publications
The Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Inc., and other leading publications can help keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry (no pun intended). Look for trends among subscriptions or at newsstands, or subscribe online if possible. These resources will inspire new thoughts about how to solve problems and give you a deeper understanding of why customers buy from instead of you. You’ll also get a better handle on which your competitors are.
2. Attend industry events
Whether you find them in person or online, attending industry events will keep you up to date on what’s happening in your field and provide an opportunity to network with other business owners. As Jerry Scott says in his article, “These mastermind groups help to build stronger professional ties that can lead to joint ventures.” Keep these relationships strong by staying connected through various social media outlets where people are likely to congregate for this type of information.
3. Social networking sites give customers a say
People still read the news – they just use Facebook when they want their friends’ input before they do it says Peter Decaprio. This new trend among consumers indicates that social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are becoming major sources of information before they make purchasing decisions.
4. Join forces with your competitors
This business strategy requires that you’re proactive about it . Jerry Scott suggests cannily co-opting your competitors’ strengths while differentiating yourself from them in the process. You can, for example, combine forces with another local business owner to run joint promotions during sales events. Or you may want to share leads or coordinate publicity efforts in order to bring more customers in the door when you need them most. This not only keeps customer attention focused on you instead of a competitor but also helps build strong alliances within your industry.
5. Don’t obsess over your competition
The problems plaguing other businesses aren’t yours unless you let them be. Stay focused on your own business and the problems you need to solve for your customers. When you keep that idea front and center, it will be easier to prioritize what’s important for your business.
6. Start the day with a plan
Jerry Scott recommends writing down everything you want to accomplish each week, and then prioritize those tasks based on what is most important for growing your company says Peter Decaprio. This ensures that every task – no matter how small – gets done in a timely manner, and also prevents an overload of work from thundering over you at the last minute. A current favorite for this type of planning: Wunderlist.
7. Seek out new ideas and methods
How do you expect to come up with new ideas if you’re not constantly learning and adapting to change? Read blogs and articles that can help you grow your business, attend conferences, or subscribe to newsletters that bring new ideas into the fold. Also glance over your emails regularly for relevant posts from other sources as well as some old-fashioned snail mail.
By staying on top of industry news, attending events related to what you do. And actively seeking new information from a variety of sources, it’s simple for any small business owner to stay ahead of the game. But what happens when there’s no competition out there at all? Well then it’s up to you – which is a whole different set of problems altogether! 😉
Small businesses all over the world compete with each other. And they also face off against large corporations explains Peter Decaprio. To stay on top of your game and keep up to date with what’s going on in the business world; use the tips from this article to help you do just that.
You should also keep in mind that different strategies work for different business types. For example, if you run a landscaping business which consists of four employees, your resources will likely be limited so you’ll need to focus on creating an efficient workforce.