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How to keep your business competitive

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What do all large businesses have in common? They have all dominated their markets and taken over by keeping the business competitive. Some of these large businesses such as Google and Amazon have remained there ever since, whereas others such as Blackberry and Nokia slipped away into relative obscurity despite once being huge companies.

What this tells us is that there is much more to running a business than a good idea or product. Sure, a good idea and viable product is important, but it’s not as important as keeping yourself competitive in today’s competitive commercial market.
If you as a company fail to diversify, don’t focus on your customers and become complacent in your success, you will also fail. You don’t need to be a huge business to focus on remaining competitive; competition exists at all levels in all industries.

 1. Know Your Target Market

As a brand-new company, it is essential to know your target market, and one of the greatest pitfalls for new businesses is not being able to understand their target market. When you don’t know who your potential customers are, then you have already failed. When you learn about your target market and can figure out how to meet their wants and needs with your products or services, your growth will begin to come over time. Being successful is all about having a product or service that the consumer wants, and it takes target market research to do this.

2. Focus on Innovation

Competition is relentless and, as we said, it takes more than a good product to succeed. One way to stay ahead of your competitors is to offer something to consumers which is different. When you are operating in a market where everything is virtually the same, it only takes something small to set you apart.
Consumers are inherently willing to pay more when they feel like they are getting more for their money, and sometimes this is as simple as how they feel when they are using your product.

3. Reinvent Yourself

Don’t be afraid to reinvent your business from time to time. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” may work for the most part, but there’s always plenty to be taken advantage of by reinventing your business. By doing this, you can disrupt the market and gain additional notoriety; if you are not the one to disrupt the market then somebody else is going to do it and steal the limelight, and this is exactly how competition works.
Always seek out ways you can do the same thing as you are right now to offer something which is better, unique or innovative. It is ideas such as this that keep a company alive and kicking, even after the years have been ticking by.

4. Look After Your Existing Customers

Many companies spend a lot of money on trying to attract new customers.  However, a better option can be spending money on looking after your existing customers.  These are the people that your competitors will be targeting, and it’s a good idea to give them a reason to stay loyal to you.  Plus, it’s much cheaper to look after your existing customers than it is to target new ones.
The way you can do this is two-fold. First of all, you need to ensure you have a good customer service department that can help with any queries or complaints your customers have.  The better this department is, the happier your customers will be.
Second, you may want to look into offering discounts or free gifts to those who are loyal.  Loyalty schemes are a great option here and they’re something that many businesses employ as a way to retain trade on a regular basis.  Other ideas are discounts and reduced credit fees.

The main obstacle for new businesses in today’s commercial climate is competition. Remaining competitive is hard, especially in a saturated market, but there are lots of things you can do.

Content source: Bizvibe.com 

Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com 

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