There is a saying that says, you cannot continue doing a thing the same everytime and expect to get a new result. This also applies to internet marketing and internet marketers. To be ahead of the competition, you must understand your position in the marketplace and not only try to defend it but maintain the competitive advantage, failure of which your competitor may corner your treasured customers to their own market.
Before I go ahead to enumerate some of the tips that will help you stay ahead of the competition, I would like you to know that every business is a game and only a team with cohesion and the best players win but it is not impossible to beat this winning team if everybody will put all their efforts together towards achieving this purpose.
How do you then be ahead of your competitor?
- Identify Your Competition
You need to discover your competition and set yourself apart from the competition. Stand out of the crowd and let your customers find you out of the crowd easily. No two products can be the same, so keep a watchful eye on your competitor, know what they are offering in terms of products and services and the value addition they’ve introduced as this will assist you to come up with your own unique selling point (USP), which will help differentiate and distinguish your business from others. You can also research into the marketing efforts of your competition as you engage media efforts such as pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing etc.
2. Identify Your Brand
As I said, earlier, no two businesses can ever be the same likewise two customers would never have the same purchasing preferences. What is that thing you can identify as featuring in your business but lacking in other businesses? What does your business stand for? What can you say is special about your business? Whether you like it or not there will always be people that will come up with your type of business and the hard truth is that you will lose some of your customers to them. Remember that no one business can appeal to everybody and this is why we have varieties but you need to communicate your uniqueness to your customers by developing a very strong and appealing unique selling proposition (USP), which will eventually separate the boys from the men as a business that does not stand for something will fall for anything. What will your customer miss by patronizing your competitor? Think about this! This could be your most competitive advantage.
3. Know Your Customers
Your ability to know your customers indepth and know what they want and need per time determines the growth and success of your business. Study your customers and know when they crave for price reduction, new products or services and find a way to meet these cravings as these helps build mutual trust between you and your customers.
4. Planning Ahead
There is no book that has ever been written about business or business marketing that does not have at least a chapter dedicated to planning. Planning is very crucial if you must see your business get to the next level and ahead of your competitor. That a company is a large corporation does not mean the company’s planning strategy template cannot be adapted to fit into your own business at its level. As much as you are encouraged to set monthly and quarterly production and sales goals, you need to keep abreast of developments in your field and follow consumer trends. Investing in new business equipments and technology can help your business to be ahead of the competition. Take serious also the financial planning aspect of business. Develop and maintain an accurate profit-and-loss statement for each month of the year, and prepare a long-range financial plan of up to five years. Eliminate unnecessary spending and do things to keep your operational expenses at a minimum, such as leasing equipment instead of buying it with cash especially if it is for just one time use.