performance

5 Tips For Facing the Competition

Every business has its fair share of competitors. Some of these may be entrenched market competitors, some of them may be upstarts, but they’re all looking to take away your customers, profits and market share. So what’s the best way for facing this competition? Here are 5 tips to grow your business in a competitive marketplace:

Stop Trying to Copy the Business Model of Your Rivals

You will only achieve success if you run your business on your own terms, and not fall prey to chasing after rivals in your industry. As soon as you stop following your own path and start copying your competitors, you could find yourself even further behind than when you started. You have your own unique strategies, resources and capabilities so you need to stay true to your business model that optimizes them in the best possible way.

Divide Your Long-Term Goal into Smaller, Manageable Goals

So much of business seems to be focused on the big stretch goals — disrupting an industry, toppling the market leader, or launching a radically innovative product. But guess what? Any big stretch goal can only be achieved if you divide that goal into smaller, manageable steps. You need strategy and tactics to reach your goal. Your strategy should explain how you plan to acquire customers, which markets you plan to penetrate, and how you plan to out-perform competitors. Maybe you’ll grow market share by 10% a quarter. Write it down and then figure out how to achieve it.

Avoid Over-Analyzing Your Competitors

There’s a big difference between doing some basic competitor research and relentlessly stalking your competitors. Yes, you need to know what your competitors are up to, but that doesn’t require tracking your rival on social media, or obsessing about your competitors’ newest product launches. The more you focus on rivals, the more you are getting away from the core mission of your business. Remember, you launched your company for a reason, whether it’s to solve a problem faced by customers or to save the world. So focus on that!

Build a Strong Team

Having a successful small business is about more than just having a cool product and a rock star CEO. It’s about having a solid team of professionals who care intensely about your mission and goals. You need to keep your team motivated. That’s easy when things are going well, but what about when they are not going so well? Think about ways to bring the company together, reward success, bring in the best talent and convince your other top talent to stay!

Make Quality the Focus of Everything You Do

Quality is the key to out-shining your competitors. This does not just mean a higher-quality product, but also a higher-quality customer experience. Think of yourself as offering value to your customers. Only then will you be able to take on competitors.

In short, you always need to know how to benchmark the performance of your small business. Even something like “quality” can have very quantitative goals – maybe it’s something as simple as having 99% 5-star reviews on Yelp. Or 99% of products shipped on time. By quantifying, you can keep your business focused on the big picture, instead of constantly shifting gears to keep up with your competitors.

Can Your Business Management Software Grow with Your Business?

A simple accounting package may be all that’s required when first launching a business, but as your company grows, you may find that your entry-level software is too limiting. Business management software doesn’t need to be complicated, nor should you need to hire a team of accountants to run it. Besides being able to manage all of your financial and operational tasks, your business management software should be flexible enough to scale with your business.

Here are three reasons why you may need to upgrade to a better system that can grow with your business.

Performance Issues

Has the performance of your software been slowing you down? As you add more entries, lists, transactions and inventory to your business management software, the greater the chances that all this data will start bogging down your system. Many software packages are designed for smaller businesses. A slower running system means that simple tasks can take longer to complete as it takes time for your system to respond.

New Users

Is there a limit on how many users you can add to your software? If you’re reached a cap on a certain number of concurrent users, then it’s a sign that you’ve outgrown your business management software. A scalable business management software solution will allow you to add more users to your system as new employees join your company.

More Functionality

Do you have options to add more functionality? Most business management software have add-ons that will extend the core functionality and help you get the most of your business management software. If your software has limited functionality and add-on options, then you’re stuck with a solution that doesn’t have the capabilities to grow with your business.

Your business management software should be able to grow and adapt with your business. Performance issues, limited users and functionality are all signs that you may need to start looking for a new solution that is flexible and scalable enough to meet your business needs.