Getting ahead of competitors

    Most businesses encounter one or more challenges at every stage. While some have difficulty in managing their limited resources, others find themselves walking a tightrope when it comes to marketing.

    The effect of these challenges becomes more prominent when clients start leaving and begin to pitch their tents with competitors.

    According to experts, the problem is not that the competitors are trying to run you out of business, but your business strategies may not be right at that moment.

    The ability to identify these problems at the right time is essential for the business to grow and thrive, they note.

    However, business consultants say the presence of competition should not be a discouragement, but an opportunity to improve on the existing standards in order to retain old clients and win new ones.

    They have highlighted a number of ways to achieve this.

    1.  Create a niche

    Start-ups face immense competition with other businesses that offer similar products, but experts advise that they can differentiate themselves by creating a niche.

    A business consultant, Mr. David Ogunleke, says many people are ready to try out new product discoveries, as long as someone can introduce the products to them.

    According to him, this can be achieved through the use of disruptive technology.

    He says, “With the use of disruptive technology and innovations, they can compete effectively and gradually take over the market. Disruptive innovations are new products and services introduced into the market to serve people in the lower tiers. Once it is accepted by the market, such products or services are capable of displacing established competitors.”

    Start-ups need to know that they can create new products or services that are better and affordable, which can displace those from big organisations, Ogunleke says.

    2. Analyse your competitors

    Business consultants suggest analysing competitors in order to discover their weaknesses and assist businesses in identifying opportunities and threats to the organisations.

    They note that this strategy can be used to discover how such competitors act or react to issues and can be used to measure or assess their standing.

    According to managementstudyguide.com, conducting competitor analysis is very crucial and the business managers should have a thorough knowledge and analysis of the general and competitive environment of their organisations in order to be successful.

    It notes that most organisations exist within a competitive environment. As a result of this, the analysis should involve the macro environment of the business.

    It states that the analysis should examine the external influences such as economic, social, political and technological influences on the competitor and the business.

    3. Keep your strategies away from competitors

    Experts advise business managers to ensure that their competitors are not privy to the business strategies used to win clients and the transactions carried out with them.

    A business consultant, Mr. David Ogunleke, says doing this will allow them to render services that stand them out and at the same time promote their products, adding that by providing these services, organisations can meet their targets and earn more profits.

    4.  Get endorsement from respected organisations

    Globalization, improvements in trade finance, the Internet and trade agreements have dramatically increased access to markets worldwide.

    Ogunleke says learning best practices from organisations in the developed countries has allowed certain standards to be maintained in the domestic market.

    Moreover, he adds that development of knowledge in all areas of business has proved to be effective in sustaining small businesses and entrepreneurship.

    Apart from being beneficial for the bottom line, he says organisations that have been endorsed by local and international regulators are perceived as credible.

    These organisations ensure compliance with their code of conduct and have been discovered to win the confidence of clients, he adds.

    5.  Get the latest technology

    Adedokun says organisations that fail to innovate and keep using traditional methods of doing business are likely to fail.

    He advises businesses that aim to be successful to be abreast of the latest business strategies, especially marketing techniques.

    6.  Make access easy for your clients

    In busy commercial centres, meeting the need of convenience has been a gap bridged by many small businesses. As such, online platforms are provided for people with busy schedule to make orders at anytime.

    The business consultant says the availability of online platform should not be the only edge that organisations should have over their competitors, their ability to deliver quality products speedily is also important.

    Having a website is one of the basic essentials every business should start with because innovations in recent times emerge from the use of the Internet.

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