Does it always seem like the competition is bowling over you? Are you struggling to get ahead in a crowded field that requires frequent innovation? It’s very frustrating to always feel like your competitor is always one step ahead, but there are ways that you can isolate the exact issues that are keeping you back. Here are some good places to start…
Do They Have Better Software?
Software solutions are critical at remaining competitive in the digital age. Not only can they simplify processes, but they can even help look at industry trends and find better ways to promote growth (this is the basis behind ERP software). The most competitive businesses in the world all build their businesses around what the data tells them, and the most reliable way to keep that up-to-date data at the forefront of your decision-making is to utilize the cutting edge software that enables you to do so. If you’re struggling to keep up with the competition, always look at software as a potential culprit!
Are They Meeting the Needs of the Market Better?
Every industry is filled with voids that are waiting to be filled, and if your competitor is filling them better, then you should look to replicate their success. Try to look at the key challenges that consumers deal with in your industry and focus your operations to truly match them. Oftentimes, these voids may seem huge and insurmountable, such as what the shift towards electric vehicles is causing to the muffler industry. This is a big problem that requires existentially changing what a business does to fully meet. However, these holes in the market can also be very simple, once you really think about them.
Is Their Brand More Relatable to Customers?
Does your branding effort hold a candle to your competitor’s? Do you invest in high-end letterpress printing for their paper goods, for example, or do you have a reputation for engaging heavily with their customers on social media? You’d be surprised at how far a good logo, high-quality coasters, well designed social media graphics, and rapport with customers will go in strengthening your brand. Take a look at how you can improve your branding and social media strategy to have a stronger rapport with your target consumer base. And again, the key to developing a good brand is to constantly get a feel for what your customers are looking for!
Are They Simply Better?
This might be hard to hear, but sometimes your competitor could be simply offering a better good or service. When this is the case, it’s important to reassess how you do things as a business and to identify potential areas of improvement. Does your competitor offer better customer service? If so, consider introducing a new guarantee that will give you a stronger reputation for customer service. Do they use higher quality materials? Take an inventory of your suppliers and see if you can negotiate to get higher quality materials for a decent price. Sometimes there really is no shortcut to beating our competitor—you simply have to evolve yourself.
Do You Get Caught in “Price Games?”
Lots of companies who are struggling to find an edge over competitors feel that the only way they can compete is to lower their price points. Doing this, however, can cause you to incur losses at unsustainable levels. It makes you seem less valuable to consumers, even if you are offering the very same goods and services as your competitors. It may also make it hard for you to raise your prices back up when you do finally gain some traction as a business in your industry. When in doubt, look for other ways to set yourself apart as a business in your industry—that way, people will tie more value to your business, and in that way, your goods and services will seem like a bargain.