Running a small business is no easy task, which is why a lot will fail within the first two years.
As a small business owner, you must advertise, market yourself, bring in and keep customers, stay up-to-date with changes, be tech-savvy and most importantly, stay ahead of your competition.
How To Get Ahead Of Your Competition
First and foremost, in order to get ahead of your competition, you must know who you’re up against.
This involves researching similar companies and learning about their products and what differentiates theirs from yours. Ask yourself how your product is better or different than theirs and think about what would make a customer choose you over them. You can use this as a selling point, of course, without slamming your competitor.
Other ways to get ahead of your competition include >>>
Have a well-developed, professional website. Everything is online these days. Make sure your business stands out by having a visually appealing and informative website. Include a section for customer reviews, too.
Make friends with your competitors. Seems strange – but a great way to learn from your competitors is to become their friends. Think of it as you’re all in it together and you all have one goal in mind – to sell your product and grow your business. They can learn from you and you can learn from them.
Stay up-to-date with your product. Keep looking for ways to enhance your product and make it better as time goes on. The world we live in is constantly changing, and your business needs to reflect that.
How To Avoid Your Competition Getting Ahead Of You
As a small business owner, the last thing you want is for your competitors to get ahead of you and force you out of business.
To be the front runner of your industry and prevent your competition from taking the lead >>>
Stay educated. In other words, continue learning about your industry. Learn all that you can and then some. The more knowledgeable you are regarding your industry and product, the less likely a competitor will surpass you.
Never stop promoting. Bringing in new business is something you’ll need to do for as long as you wish to remain in business. Constantly advertise and come up with new and creative ways to get your product in the hands of consumers.
Work hard, and then work harder. Owning a small business is no easy task, and quite frankly it never will be. Work until the work is done, and then work some more. Hard work equals success. The harder you work, the more successful you will be.
Set goals. Where do you see your business in one month? How about one year? Five years? Set goals and lay them out. Work at accomplishing them little by little each day.
Understand the finances. A lot of small business owners hire a bookkeeper and stay away from the financial aspect of their business. This is a mistake! Be involved with the bookkeeping process and understand the bottom line.
One final tip for staying ahead of your competition is to know your customers.
Give them what they want and accept feedback – even negative. View negative feedback as a way to improve.
After all, without happy customers you won’t be in business. Stay focused on them and you’ll naturally stay one step ahead of your competitors.
About The Author
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer covering sites such as billfloat and topics such as small businesses, finances and food and nutrition.