When it comes to business, it’s easy to rise above the competition. The bigger and more important challenge is staying on top. You just need to look at Blackberry and Nokia, and how they got overtaken by Apple and Samsung in the smartphone race. It doesn’t matter how fast you get there as long as you stay there when you do.
So how do you maintain your lead over your competitors in an ever-changing and highly aggressive market? Here are some things to keep in mind.
Know Your Competition AND Your Market
Even if you’ve created a completely new product or service, you will always—and we mean always—have competition. Find out who these competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses, what they’re offering that you aren’t, and what you’re doing that they’re not. Analysing these details can help you pinpoint areas where you can and need to compete, as well as identify what you need to improve. You may take a leaf out of a competitor’s playbook if you want. Just make sure you do it better.
On the other end, you also need to know your customers. In fact, this can take precedence over knowing your competition. You have to find out what matters to your customers as well as what makes them tick. Moreover, you have to be able to anticipate their needs and know what will make them stay. You can acquire the services of a market research Australia company to help you identify trends, analyse industry data, and measure your marketing strategies’ effectiveness. You can then use all of these data to fine-tune your services to give the best consumer experience.
Not everything should be based strictly on hard data, however. You can also conduct informal surveys or even crowdsource online and in the field. Be observant. Sometimes, you can gather insight-making details in the grocery store or the gym.
It’s easy to get comfortable and feel complacent when you’re already at the top. There’s the ever-present tendency to just do the same thing that has been working for you for years. After all, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
This adage applies to even the most successful companies. However, the most successful companies also have a desire for constant reinvention. Those who are constantly reinventing themselves are always disrupting the norm, drawing the spotlight to them and thus keeping people interested. Of course, be careful that you’re notreinventing for reinvention’s sake. You should find creative, useful innovations that cater to what the consumers want (see the previous point) and not just change something without much thought.
In addition, reinventing your company is not all about outward, product-and-services-focused change. You should also consider changing your internal culture and how your people think. You may also want to reinvent how consumers perceive your brand. Remember: “perception is reality.”
Invest in People
The success of your organisation depends on several factors, and one of the most important is the people. Your employees move the business forward so it’s only logical, not to mention a sound business decision, to invest in them. When your people know and feel that you give their work value, they’ll be more inclined to help you reach your objectives. They will even go out of their way to fuel and cultivate a culture of innovation.
At the same time, it’s also important to bring in new people. Knowledge workers are especially critical to help you keep your lead by providing information, insight, and expert analyses. The talent pool is wide and deep, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge.
Find Your Niche
Sometimes, it’s not about dominating the global market but finding that niche where you can truly excel. Not every company can be like Google, and that’s perfectly fine. Just remember that you must pay careful attention to take care of your niche market. It’s a smaller group with specific preferences and exacting standards, so they’re much more difficult to please. Once you do, however, you’re sure to cultivate a loyal following that will go out of their way to advocate your brand. Staying on top of the food chain is simple in concept but much more complicated in reality. Don’t let this discourage you, however. In fact, you should take this as a challenge for your entire organisation. With everyone working toward the same goals, sooner or later, you’ll find yourself at the top and holding that position for a long, long time.