• nat sharp

5 ways to keep ahead of your competitors

Updated: Jun 23

We all recognise how the world of business can be unpredictable and fast paced and competition can be intense. Never think you can't compete in your market against some of the major players.

I've outlined some areas of activity which can deliver real impact and give you that winning edge. And, they can be done without spending a penny if you have the resources and expertise in-house.

Here are some pointers to help.

1. Fully exploit search engine optimisation

Forrester research shows 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. And HubSpot claims 75% of users never view past the first page of search results so getting to that first page on Google is key. And you can do it with a bit of patience and perseverance.

First and foremost, ensure you are registered with Google My Business. A Google My Business registration is a free local listings service which helps you be found online. You can also register for free directory listings. And lastly, ensure your website is fully optimised.

2. Develop a true niche

It is much better to choose your niche and tailor your communication to make it resonate with your audience. You won’t appeal to everyone, but a generic bland message won’t have much impact. It may be feel daunting to feel like you may be missing out on potential business. Your market may be smaller, but your conversion rates will be higher.

3. Invest in market research

Market research can help in so many ways from benchmarking your business to your competitors, discovering new industry trends and finding out more about your target audience. Always remember you are not your typical customer. There is nothing more insightful than asking customers what are their motivations, needs and pain points.

In a nutshell market research will allow you to make informed business decisions as opposed to making knee jerk reactions or assumptions to help shape your offering and give you that edge, mitigating risk.

4. Step up your customer service

Offering outstanding customer service makes good business sense. It is always rewarding to have customers that truly value what you do for them and build strong relationships with them. But even better if they believe you provide exceptional customer service and have a high quality product that delivers, they will become become brand advocates.

Ensure you capture customer feedback and ask how you are performing. There are always ways you can improve customer satisfaction. Remember there is always room for improvement and your customers are best placed to advise how.

5. Generate thought leadership

Thought leadership is particularly powerful in business to business due to the complexity of the decision-making process. According to research by Edelman and Linked In, nearly half of business decision-makers said thought leadership has directly led them to award business to an organisation. It also has tremendous PR value.

We all have knowledge, experience and a point of view that can be relevant so why not leverage this and start by providing tips on hot topics you are an expert in and that your audience would like to know more about.

You could demonstrate this expertise by speaking at events and conferences, creating a podcast, and engaging on social media and blogs. Videos are a highly effective way to get noticed and can have a big viral impact.

Keep going forwards

So now you know how to make an impact, go on and give it a go. Maybe you can enhance your customer service, or you re-assert your niche. Either way you’ll be taking control of the elements that make you stand out from the crowd.

By carving a new road map for your business you can have the confidence to compete at a new found level of excellence.

Discover more tips on how to develop the perfect sales pitch, how to create a sales strategy and to refresh your website.

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