~by Rachelle Wilber~
Entrepreneurship is really one of the most difficult career choices a person can make. According to Forbes and Bloomberg, nearly 80 percent of new companies fail. While the failure rate is indeed high, the possibility for reaching success and obtaining your dreams still exists. However, you need to be smart about how you run your business, or you won’t be able to maintain a healthy profit margin in a competitive market.
Here are 5 ways you can beat your competition.
1. Find Your Own Niche
Perhaps the best way to beat the competition in a competitive market is to convince consumers that you are not in direct competition with those other companies. This can be done by forging your own niche by adding a specific twist to your product or service that sets it apart from everything else being offered in your market. For example, a bakery that offers only specialty cupcakes may not be considered to be in direct competition with a traditional bakery. The services and products may be similar, but you won’t be perceived as the same by consumers.
2. Know Your Customers
Another way you can develop an edge over you competitors is by having a better understanding of the core demographics that purchase your product or service. This can be accomplished by performing the proper market research. Focus groups and surveys can offer some insight. You can also communicate directly with your customers through social media and receive constructive feedback from them. If you learn exactly who your customers are and what they like, you can cater directly to that audience and produce a loyal customer base that keeps providing your company with business year after year.
3. Implement HR Software
The proper implementation of business software can also help give your company an advantage over competitors through the efficiency and cost savings such programs can provide you with. One kind of business software you should certainly consider investing in is HRIS software. This kind of software can allow a Human Resources (HR) department to manage many different HR tasks electronically, such as payroll, recruitment, training, and more, through the use of computer databases. It can remove the possibility of human error and allow your HR staff to more quickly and effectively complete their work.
4. Leverage Information Technology and the Internet
How your business takes advantage of the internet and technology can also have a significant impact on your ability to successfully compete in a crowded marketplace. First, you should certainly consider offering the ability to purchase your products or services online. The ability to reach the millions that have internet access can certainly be a significant advantage. Just think of how better positioned Amazon.com is compared to many struggling brick and mortar retailers. You should consider other possibilities regarding information technology as well. Offering an app for smart phone users can increase customer loyalty and engagement with your brand.
5. Offer Excellent Customer Service
Even when the product you offer is incredibly similar to what is offered by competitors, there are still ways to set yourself far apart from your competition. Providing excellent customer service can go a long way. Customers will appreciate the fact that the company seems to genuinely care about them. They may become loyal lifelong customers as a result. However, you can’t have great customer service without a significant investment in proper training of your employees. If employees are not trained and properly vetted, your customer service can certainly be perceived as poor. This will result in bad online reviews that can take a big bite out of your profits.
Running a successful business is tough. However, it’s not impossible. Certainly try to take every advantage you can get over your competitors. Try to offer better products and better service finely tuned for the people most likely to bring you business.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach or at the gym.
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