How to stay ahead of the competition


Unless you are offering a particularly unique product or service, chances are there will be other competitors in your marketplace that could be muscling in on your success.

Competition is good thing though. It keeps us on our toes and makes us strive to work harder. But, if you let the ball drop and fail to notice what your competitors are offering, you could lose your place in a fragile and ever changing marketplace.

Here are our top tips on how to keep on top:

1. Know your competition

Know your enemy! Keep up to date with who they are, what they are offering and what makes them different to you. There will be reasons that your potential customers choose to use their services as opposed to your own. The better you know your competition, the easier it is to identify what they are doing better than you and change your work model to suit.

2. Know your customers

Keeping an eye on the competition is only half of the journey. You need to understand what your existing customers need and value from you in order to be able to attract more. Keeping a breast of their likes and preferences is just as important as identifying why others may prefer to use your competitors services.

3. Be different

Even if you sell exactly the same products or services as your major competitors, you need to find a way to market it differently. This could be the service you offer, any additional products or promotions, or simply the price at which you sell your goods.

4. Marketing is key

Never rest on your laurels. Even if you are busy right now, you may not be so busy next week, next month or next year. Continuous and targeted marketing campaigns will ensure that you always remain on top of the competition.

5. Stay relevant

Even if you offer the very best product in the world, if your shopfront (virtual or otherwise) looks outdated and dull, customers will pass you by. Keep up with market trends and revamp your image every few years to ensure that you are always relevant.

6. Expand your services

If you offer products that are a sell out success, you should still consider looking to diversify. Offering additional products or services the compliment your best sellers will give your customers even less reason to look elsewhere.

7. Explore new markets

Following on from above, if you can diversify your products or services, you will be able to find new markets to sell them to. Every product has a demographic and by identifying which ones will be interested in your business, you will be able to find new ways to reach them. Social media marketing, online promotions or even slightly off-beat advertising campaigns are all exciting ways to reach out to new audiences.