As companies attempt to penetrate into new markets, it has become increasingly harder to stay competitive with the sheer amount of rivals SMEs find themselves mired among within their home markets. Companies that operate in such an environment have to constantly adjust their strategies, take into account what their rivals are doing and develop methods of ensuring their continued relevancy to consumers. It is a cutthroat environment where people need to reinvent themselves in order to survive and maybe even thrive in this sort of landscape. Now, as yourself, are you ahead of the competition or are you in the midst of a potential collapse of your business?
To Stay Competitive Be Collaborative
In order to be competitive in your market you need to establish clear lines of communication and collaboration across the different branches of your business. The reason behind this is that such a strategy allows you to know what sort of trends are occurring in particular areas, what your competition is up to and whether consumer tastes have changed in response to new entries into the market. Mycustomer.com supports this perspective by explaining in a recent article that collaboration enables employees from different branches to elaborate on their experiences, enlighten others on how to respond to particular situations that they have encountered and implement company wide best practices in order to ensure that all employees follow guidelines on what to do when presented with a particular situation. Do note though that while there are an assortment of methods in which this can be accomplished ranging from email blasts to employees from different regions going to other sites and elaborating on their practices, one of the most expedient methods of doing so is through a conference call. Simply have your employees gather in a room, use service providers like conference calls by Blue Jeans, and have the people gathered listen in and give their own inputs when necessary. This ensures that everyone within the company knows what is going on within the current market and this will help them determine what needs to be done in order to make successful decisions.
One of the “traps” that business owners tend to fall into is that they become more responsive than innovative when it comes to their business. What this means is that they tend to examine what their competition is doing and emulate it or respond to it in some way. The inherent problem with this strategy is that it causes your company to end up in a pattern of stagnation where you are forever responding instead of seeking out your own path. One way of seeing innovation in action is the line-up of 2013 start-ups featured on CNBC.com which showcased companies that made their own version of hearing aids, home defence systems and even methods of water storage that were superior to what is currently present in the market. This level of innovation shows what can be possible if companies simply stopped trying to base their actions on their competitors and instead focused on doing what they believe customers would like. You would be surprised with the positive reception such a strategy would have not only on your consumers but on your employees as well.
Invest in your Employees
When people hear the term “investment” they normally connote it with investing into a company or investing into set of equipment. However, another way in which investment can be utilised is if you were to “invest” into the employees of your company. Your employees are the backbone of your enterprise, without them you would be nothing, and as a resource they can actually be improved over time which would benefit the company immensely due to their added value. As explained by Inc.com, investing into an employee can take numerous forms such as paying for their training/education or focusing on giving them a variety of experiences to prepare them for management. By giving them additional skills and capabilities, you increase what your company is able to accomplish resulting in more potential avenues of approach that you can take your business to.
While these three strategies are not an exhaustive elaboration on what a company can do in order to stay competitive, they are an effective starting point for companies to realise what they need to do in order to improve who they are. One of the worst possible things that a company could do is believe that no improvements in their operational processes are needed. Such a viewpoint can and will lead to your stagnation resulting in you wondering where you went wrong a few years later when your company closes down due to its lack of relevancy in the market it operated in.