Except for a few monopolists, every business has a number of competitors. Whatever product or service you offer, there is always someone doing or providing something similar. And if not yet, because you really sell something unique, assume that sooner or later you will still face competition. In this article we give you 5 tips to strengthen your competitive position and stay ahead of your competitors.
1 It starts with self-knowledge: determine your competitive advantage
It is important to know who your biggest competitors are. You do this initially by taking a good look at yourself. What makes your product or service so special? What annoyance do you solve for your potential customers? Or what shortcoming are you filling in? By finding out why customers choose you, you can also find out who your main competitors are. These are the companies that, to a greater or lesser extent, meet the same need or solve the same problem. Once you have this insight, you can build on what sets you apart. And so you increase your lead over your closest competitors.
2 Not the best at everything
Few companies are truly the best in everything. So it may be too ambitious to claim to be faster, cheaper AND superior in quality. Therefore, be realistic. Not only to yourself, but also to your customers. They are probably happy to pay a little more for better quality.
In addition, know what you yourself are not good at. For example, are you good at developing new technical applications, but not at taking advantage of the commercial opportunities that this entails? Then find someone who can complement you in this. So don't try to do everything yourself.
3 Don't be deterred by competition
Although a monopoly position also has advantages, there is nothing wrong with competition. After all, when you have competitors, it confirms market potential. And it gives you the opportunity to learn from them. It doesn't hurt to study carefully exactly what your competitors do and why their customers choose them. And in addition to point 1, what can you add over the current offerings in the market?
At the same time, you can also use competitors to collectively improve your competitive position. Perhaps there are opportunities for cooperation; sometimes 1 plus 1 really is more than 2. In any case, do not try to distinguish yourself by slagging off competitors. Go from your own strengths, and show what makes you so special.
4 Enjoy success, but keep moving
Staying at the top is harder than getting to the top. That's why it's important not to dwell too long on your success. Because what works today may be obsolete tomorrow. Make sure you know what developments your customers are facing and respond accordingly. Keep developing and looking for growth opportunities. Also look outside your standard market: how else can your technology be applied? In which markets is there potential demand for your product?
5 Get off your island
We mentioned it briefly in point 2: It is very tempting as an entrepreneur to do everything yourself. After all, your company is your baby and sometimes it can be difficult to let go of things. But if you want to keep developing and growing, you have to. Therefore, involve your organization, your clients and your network as much as possible in your business. Share your vision, be inspired by the people around you. As an entrepreneur, don't lock yourself up in your office to work on the ultimate master plan, but test your vision with key stakeholders and be open to their feedback.
Differentiation is the most important means of strengthening your competitive position. Understanding what sets you apart is the key to success. This applies not only to your clients, but also to any investors. When we from NOM consider investing in a company, we always want to know why customers choose you. Added value and insight into it, rather than thirteen in a dozen, that makes all the difference....
Are you actively working on your strategy, further growth opportunities and want to know how investors impact your business? Then download our white paper, in which we tell you all about it.