If you are surveying the market to launch a new business or looking for some inspiration to build momentum for your already established one, you must be thinking something like this; who else is doing the same thing in this field? What drives people towards my competitors? Why don’t I get the same response they do?
It is surprising to know that your competitor can actually teach you to be better at what you do. When the first iPhone was launched, Steve Jobs completely did away with the stylus. Samsung, on the other hand, went on to improve its stylus and further implemented its use in daily phone usage.
The result – Apple announced an iPencil in 2015, most probably due to the growing popularity of stylus on tablets and phones. As cliched as it may sound, the two competitors are mostly helping each other to be better in their business. Here are the 6 most important tips on what your competitor can teach you about business;
Is it possible that your business is not moving with stability because you are a bit haywire in terms of management? Is your competitor reaping great rewards and their employees are also happier?
You need to think deeply about how you are managing your work. While you might have the best resources for just what the market needs, your management skills can pull you down. Any business, no matter how successful or steady, can be bogged down if the upper management lacks the right managerial skills. In today’s business scenario, you may be managing teams, suppliers, partners and employees from all over the world. To make everyone feel connected, try to bring them closer with weekly Skype sessions or a quick Thank-you email.
Successful businesses like Google make sure they train their employees, provide them with benefit plans, and make them feel satisfied with their jobs. A harmonious environment is positive for growth, not an awry system where nobody is happy or motivated.
Try to find leaders to do your job, and do all you can to bring out their passion for your business. Use Cisco to provide tech help to your employees when they’re on the go, or launch a work portal for engaging employees.
Website and Social Media
Do you know that businesses with an online presence are 97% more open to growth and new audience? Using the Internet to promote your business can put you on the world map of business. Crafters on Etsy.com post their crafts and make a shop, where they buy and sell items all over the world.
Is your business not online? Maybe it’s time to see how your competitor is using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat to attract an audience. It will help you improve. Search Engine Optimization is key to growing your business online. Visual content is the most successful in marketing today. Amp up your online interaction by including testimonials by your own employees in short videos.
If your competitor is using better keywords than you, why don’t you get some help with outsourcing and get other quick minds to do your job?
These investments bear fruit more than you think. When 75% of people aren’t going past page 1 of Google search results, why don’t you work hard and be on the first page?
Using Marketing Techniques
Your business might be stagnant because you have a hard time making changes in your marketing techniques. While your competitor is applying new-age tricks to grow, are you still sticking to old ways and thus getting a lesser response.
There are literally a million ways to interact with customers online. So many apps, so many app providers like airG, Appsbar, Como Premium, that will get you your business apps and land you on the map. Kiss-metrics blog says that successful marketing is done with time, not money. One of the key techniques is to network in person because people tend to believe a word of mouth more than anything.
Keep a keen eye on Twitter trends and use them to be a step ahead of your competitors. Stay abreast with app updates so that you use the new features before your competitor does. You can also use blogging to attract people to your business like many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs do.
Successful businesses keep in mind the ethics of doing business. It is human to make mistakes, but ethics prompt towards managing that efficiently. Anything can trend on the internet in minutes, and one wrong move can land your business in a dump. Sometimes employees leave a business and join its competitor simply because they provide them with respect and a chance to grow.
Don’t take your employees for granted. Empathy is the highest form of human intelligence, and all management skills boil down to showing respect. Successful businesses don’t just empower their employees, but also respect their competitors. Leaders must become engaged in their business by rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty too. It puts a positive impact on employees about their dedication to the business and the team.
Starbucks is famous for producing world-class baristas and keeps multiplying its franchises because it gives respect to its employees. That’s why people prefer to work in that environment.
It takes courage to accept that your competitor is doing better than you. Who knows? It may be your next step to success too! If your competitor is great with customer support, why are you waiting to let time pass?
In this generation of baby boomers and millennials, ever wondered how great it could be to be where your customer is? Take the example of the famous game, PokemonGO. Unless you live under a rock you would know that the game is being played by the whole world due to its interesting plot. (See David Edelman’s “Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places,” HBR December 2010.)
If your competitor actually cashed that by using the game’s features to market their presence, why don’t you, too? It’s a brilliant move. It won’t be counted as copying, because the world is in on it.
What NOT to do
In a world of smartphones, don’t sell a rotary dial phone. It’s no joke that if you’re not planning ahead, you might suffer a lot in business. Your competitor can teach this best. Keep a sharp eye on their next move. What are they doing that is making them face a backlash? Work on providing a better alternative.
John Osher developed many products, including an electric toothbrush that because America’s most popular oral hygiene tool. He aspired to make a perfect company and wrote “16 mistakes startups make” (now up to 17) which got included in a Harvard Business Review study. Check out his journey on what not to do in business.
No one teaches you to be better than your competitor, who is your indirect critic. Analyze their business strategy and use it to see where you stand in the market. If the market has potential in a space your competitor hasn’t touched, provide services there with efficient customer support. Cars made by Tesla are being bought more over fancy labels like Ferraris, because Tesla has worked upon a revolutionary way to run cars with alternate energy. This standing factor has provided them with new customers.