Learn How to Set Your Business Apart from the Competition
Building a successful business is all about figuring out how to separate your business from the competition in order to gain a competitive edge – Find out how.
Competition is rife.
One of the good things about globalization is that it’s opened up the market, so there are plenty of extra prospective clients to capture. The bad news is that the level of competition is stronger than ever, especially with millennials increasingly flexing their entrepreneurial muscles instead of looking at a lifetime as an employee.
Let’s see what you can do to set your business apart from the competition.
Raise Your Standards
Tony Robbins coined the phrase, “Raise your standards.”
What he meant by that is the reality that we often let our high standards and expectations for ourselves drop. We almost don’t even notice when it happens because it could have occurred over a long period of time. Even if it transpired all at once, we might just dismiss it as inevitable. But it’s not.
If your business is going to succeed or perform even better against stiff competition, it must do better than it’s done in the past. When the standards and high expectations aren’t there, most employees will slack off. Their thinking is that they can just go through the motions because that’s what everyone else in the company is doing. It will permeate the working culture. They’ll even encourage other people hard charging along to slow down because they’re making everyone else look bad!
Offer a Better Product or Service
Companies need to offer a better product or service to do well.
That might sound true, but it’s not always the case. We’ve all bought a heavily advertised product that turned out to be woefully inferior compared to a less marketed one. However, that’s only because a well-funded marketing budget overcame the product’s inherent deficiencies – it’s certainly not something that your business should rely on for continued success.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, we come to our next point – aim higher. While there’s only so much you can offer at a given price point while still making sensible gross margins, there’s enough room to produce something that’s as great as it can be for a fixed manufacturing cost.
Aim for Continual Improvement Across the Business
The killer of business dreams is complacency.
Without a focus on continual improvement across the business, it tends to lag behind companies that are still energetically pushing forward.
Look at every aspect of the business operation to find inefficiencies and improvements to implement. Many times, steps within a procedure are there because they’ve been present for years. Only by reviewing each work procedure (usually by the line supervisor) can unnecessary steps be routed out. Look to create new standard operating procedures that cover everything required but with no unnecessary steps. Focus on completeness but also efficiency to get work tasks completed using fewer resources (people, time, systems).
Use Continual Improvement as a Personal Model Too
Continual improvement for the owner of the business is never a bad personal model to follow.
For instance, studying for an AACSB accredited MBA program provides a wealth of background into operating businesses and running different aspects of them from a strategic perspective. Finance and procuring funding are better understood when having an MBA under your belt too.
The same logic goes for other aspects of life like personal fitness and eating well. Running a business while overweight, unfit or eating a poor diet with low-quality nutrition is only holding yourself back.
Build a Brand You Can Be Proud Of
As much as we want our businesses to be successful, we also should want to create a brand behind it that represents good values. Being proud of what we’ve created and how it helps its customers do or achieve more feels great in a way that an extra zero on a balance sheet never will.
Treating people fairly and doing business legitimately avoids costly mistakes.
While we often seek outside validation like with wanting our parents to be proud of us, it’s actually ourselves we need to be proud of. Our business brand is an extension of ourselves as the founder, so the same rule applies. Often, difficult business decisions are easier to figure out when framing them appropriately.
Setting your business apart from the competition applies at many levels. It’s how you treat your customers and how you deal with your employees, and doing the right thing when that’s what’s needed. While you cannot avoid every negative outcome as a business owner, by focusing on offering a better service or product than your competitors and treating everyone as fairly as possible, it goes a long way in building a strong reputation and a lasting business.