Sharpening Your Competitive Edge

Part of being a successful business person is consistently evaluating ways to make you stand apart from the rest. Promotions, advertising, and word of mouth are all used daily to bring more customers into your business and out of competitive businesses. How can you stay on top? While every business is different, we have some ideas that can help many stay sharp.

Information is Power

And the best information you can have is information about competitive businesses. Every company has strengths and weaknesses, and knowing both yours and your competitors puts you at an advantage. Finding their weaknesses allows you to create strengths that fill those gaps. Any services they can’t provide but you can will bring people to your door.

Knowing their strengths can also help. Whether their strengths mirror yours, you can use their accomplishments as a baseline for growth or as a check into whether your business could improve its efficiency. You can make educated choices about whether you want to expand your business to match their strengths, or whether your clients are likely to prefer the strengths that your company has.

Invest in Yourself

Most business people have already done this financially to a large extent, but a good investor diversifies. Invest time, manpower, and research into improving, not just running, your business. Stay on top of any training programs that can help you be more efficient. You may not need the latest technology to stay on top, but knowing what’s available can be a real asset. Sometimes, it’s as simple as downloading a free app. However, there’s no way to know unless you’re taking the time to look. Consider setting aside a specific block of time each week that you devote to business development.

Find, and Eliminate, Your Weaknesses

This can be as simple as removing things that aren’t working, or as difficult as developing new techniques for challenging clients. For a week, write down everything you do for your business and how long it takes. Then comb through your list and find any time wasters. If you spent a lot of time inputting information or calculating your finances, there is likely a program in which you can invest that will save you time. If you made several cold calls to leads, yet received little positive response, take the time to develop a different approach on the phone.

Believe in Your Strengths

As you compete to get clients from your competitors, you are put in the position of selling yourself. You are better, you are more efficient, you are the best business for the job. Take the time to outline your strengths and how they work to serve your clients needs independently. Find ways to explain these in a passionate and logical way. Once you know that you are factually the best, even if it’s only in some areas, your clients will know it too.

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