One out of every three small businesses today is scared of one major issue; their competitors. The presence and influence of these competitors can have an effect on small businesses especially, if those competitors have been in business for a long time.
Of course, competition makes businesses to always be on their toes, so as to avoid been overtaken. Competition brings out the best not just in business, but in every sphere of existence, to remain at the top, competition is a necessity.
Monopoly on the other hand, kills an economy because, they will always have the economy of any region or business sphere under total control and domination, making it literally impossible for the public to voice out their grievances.
For a new business to thrive, it must be able to withstand the waves and tides its already established competitors will throw at it. Businesses must recognise their strengths and edge they have in order to compete effectively with their competitors.
Well in the course of research, applications, studying the patterns of successful entrepreneurs and of course conversations from colleagues and mentors in business, there are four sustainable advantages every business start-up has over its competitors if they are cherished and used effectively.
The Four Critical Advantages You Have Over Your Competitors.
What are they?
- Your knowledge and skills.
- Your marketing strategies.
- Your people or workforce.
- Your systems or mode of operation.
- Your Knowledge and Skills
The knowledge and skills you possess are the foundations of what you plan to achieve. No two persons possess the same level of knowledge, even if you were taught or trained by someone. You can increase that level of knowledge by learning more on your own. As you may know, no knowledge sticks deeper than what you taught yourself. Your rich competitors are always scared of new businesses springing up, why? Their methods of operations, knowledge and skills are old, outdated and to keep up with the trend, they have to spend more and find young minds like yours who are already in the system.
With your existence in mind, they will try to best you by working harder, while you work smarter which is the key to success. Knowledge is power to those who possess it and know its values. Your competitors are aware of the fact that the absence of knowledge is the presence of weakness and are willing to learn more at the slightest chance they have. To succeed and make the best use of your acquired knowledge, you need to make sure your knowledge and skill set are powerful, then you must understand the worth and value of your knowledge because, the difference between the successful and others is the worth and knowledge of values.
- Your Marketing Strategies
Marketing is the engine of any business and is your second deadly advantage. How? You might produce quality and wonderful products and fail, your competitors on the other hand can produce second hand and poor quality goods, still make great sales and monopolize the market all because of good marketing. Marketing is the basic function that can make or break your business. When you apply good marketing strategies, people will be willing to part with their money in exchange for your products.
Your marketing is one thing your competitors cannot copy if you do it right and you should not delegate it to a body or department that does not understand your business, this is one thing most start-ups fail to understand. In the long run, if poor or incompetent hands manage the advertising of infant businesses, they end up quitting the marketing of their business which is the beginning of the doom of their business. Powerful marketing is rare yet powerful. The impact of this advantage on your business is this, you could be ten, twenty or sixty times successful than your competitors, if and only if you apply effective marketing.
- Your People or Workforce
Your employees, workforce or employees (whichever name you call them) because, they produce your goods and services, locate clients, render your services or sell them your goods and handle your after sales assurance policies. No matter how wonderful your business is, if your workforce suddenly diminishes for one reason or the other, your business will cease to exist because the business cannot take care of itself and their skill set is what keeps the business going. Again, if your workforce is sloppy, careless, possesses less skills and lacks motivation, your businesses is bound to hit the rocks, imagine when your customer care agent or receptionist is rude and tries to receive complaints from rude customers, you are sure to lose a lot of customers because, as you may know, the best and free method of advertising is the word of mouth your customers have about your business.
If you treat them badly, you lose, if you treat them like the kings they are, you will gain more from their referral power. If you motivate your workers on the other hand, you will always be ahead. This is one thing your competitors can never duplicate. Employment might seem easy but getting the right people for your business is tough and it is the most important function every business must handle. To keep your business afloat, you must employ people who are greater than you are and have more visions for the business than yourself. By doing this, you will always learn new things, your business will sail with less problems and you will have less issues to deal with because of the capability of your workforce. Like marketing, hiring the right people especially in key positions for your business should not be left in incapable or poor hands.
- Your Systems or Mode of Operation
Your mode of operation is another edge you have over your business competitors. Your systems or mode of operation here refers to the combination of your skill sets, your time management and productivity. It is possible for you to run your business at a much lower cost than your business competitors, make more profits and create more value for your goods and services. Buttressing this point further, one of the ways of creating a reliable system is by hiring credible people for key positions in your business. This will save you time and will enable you develop your systems, get new business ideas that will bring in more profits for the business.
If your system is sustainable, you will end up getting extra pay not just for your labour, but for your ideas as well. With the right systems in place, you will have the freedom and time to step back and watch the business from another angle. Look at Microsoft today, William Gates set a system in place that employs credible people for key positions, that made Microsoft scrap out Windows 9 which never came into existence due to its failure while test running it. Apple’s Mac was about gaining the major section of the market before Windows 10 came in and regained the glory of Microsoft. So an effective system, prevents a business from going extinct.
As much as competitors will try to intimidate infant start-ups, infant start-ups can still compete with them and achieve milestones in their businesses. The major reason competitors act fast when new businesses come up, is not because they want to knock the infant businesses out of business. Well maybe that’s the reason. But what is the reason behind that reason? The rich competitors have kept that reason a secret and what is that secret?
Infant businesses equip themselves with new weapons and strategies that are futuristic and such skill-sets will make these young businesses overtake, knock out and if possible acquire the old competitors’ businesses. Those strategies are the values which separates the achievement of infant businesses from the glory days of the competitors. Those values include passion, commitment, focus, persistence and honesty. This is the major reason competitors fret and act when infant start-ups emerge.