Outsmart the Competition

The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do”.Roy L. Smith

If you are running a business, you would have competitors – it comes with the turf! In addition, competitors cannot be wished away and neither can anyone stop the many new ones sprouting up on every ‘nook and corner’. No company, irrespective of size and stature can afford to be complacent of its success and ignorant of the ‘antics’ of its competitors. The race to outsmart the competition is an on-going one, without which competition could easily put a spoke in the wheel of success.

Being able to outsmart the competition has many aspects. Of course, it is important to portray one’s company and offerings as unique and distinct from all others. However, a company must also keep a lookout for its competitors to know what they are doing right and not so well such that they are able to convince customers to remain. Companies try myriad tricks and techniques to show value and effectiveness of their offerings for their customers in a bid to retain them and attract others. Doing business is almost like a war now given the volatile market conditions, limited resources and a plethora of factors that has made running a business a lot tougher. A great way to outsmart the competition is to attract their customers – especially the ones that may have expressed their dissatisfaction for any reason whatsoever. Such customers would require little convincing to switch tracks and if your company can offer them what they seek in order to gain profitability and success, your company would have a new set of customers. The great part of gaining customers this way is that others would follow suit.

What methods has your company put in place to outsmart the competition? Does your company have a structured strategy that allows them to remain ahead of its competition? Take for example this company whose products could be for a niche audience, but it consistently provides its customers and other readers with informative and useful content as a service. The content provided has widespread relevance for any company operating in any industry and therefore the company has been able to increase the ‘traffic’ on its website – it now is able to attract more customers and has gain advantage over its competitors.

There is no point getting into a self-defeating price war in an attempt to outspend the competition. Rather, a company must focus on putting together methods to outsmart the competition. The leaders of the company must attend functions, events, award parties and other such soirees, which would be attended by leaders of the competition as well. Listening attentively to the conversations, plans and other subjects would enable the leaders to identify what the market and the competition itself believes its strengths and shortcomings to be. The leaders also get a number of opportunities through these events to reach out to potential customers before others since they would already have a ‘heads up’ on the target customers.

In the effort to understand and outsmart the competition, a company must not forget to understand first itself. The clearer it is about what their brand is about, the values and vision it upholds and the value it can bring to its customers – the easier it would be for them to send out relevant and useful information to their customers. Such companies would find it simpler to outsmart the competition than those that are unable to define their USP and the competitive edge they can provide. Customers find it tough to trust a company that sends out vague and conflicting messages.

Another method to outsmart the competition is by learning about whatever there is to know about customers, vendors, investors, other stakeholders and any other such market segment. Having this information would allow a company to connect with them, understand the best way and channel to engage with them and this would translate to reaching them ahead of the competition.

There is no doubt that loyal customers can be a company’s best asset. In order to outsmart the competition, a company must learn to consistently show these ‘assets’ how much they mean to it. In addition, a company must devise new methods to reach out to their niche customers and give them the best possible experiences such that they become brand ambassadors and will be happy to attract more customers for the company. Outsmart the competition by remaining focused on your ideal customers and their needs.

The other top asset of a company is its employees. Your company can outsmart the competition by treating its employees well, empowering them and being an ideal employer such that they too become the company’s advocates. Happy employees are energized employees who would do whatever it takes to help the company achieve success. They would embody the company’s values and culture in everything they do – a company that is ‘healthy’ on the inside would have a great reputation in the market, which in turn would serve to attract customers and other stakeholders.

With societal and environmental concerns occupying centre-stage, customers are more likely to do business with companies that have a well-defined CSR strategy. Giving back to society, investing in community development and taking part in environment preservation activities are sure shot ways to outsmart the competition and turn the attention of customers and other key stakeholders towards your company.

Ensure that the company’s culture is customer focused such that whatever goes out from the company serves them. Whether it is choosing the channel to communicate with them or the message that goes out – all should benefit and be convenient for the customer. Ensure that not every message that goes out is about selling – providing value added information, industry knowledge and other information the customers can use to further the cause of their business, is a sure shot way to upstage and outsmart the competition. This kind of unique service will make your company stand out as being unique, relevant and highly dependable. However, the key to remaining trustworthy is consistency – your company will remain in the mind of the customers at all times and even if they do not need your company’s offerings, they will think of you when either they or their associates do require them.

In the competitive market place, it is critical for a company to be able to outsmart the competition and one of the best methods is to show off the strengths and capabilities of the company. With so many similar products and pricing strategies, customers want to know what is it that they could get from your company that is different and value-added for them. They need to know why they should buy from you and not elsewhere – give them enough reasons and do so consistently. Do not be afraid or reluctant to announce your company’s achievements and successes and ensure that you thank all your business partners for their support. Your company would earn goodwill and be in a formidable position when compared with competition.

The fact is that being able to outsmart the competition is not as easy as it may sound since they too are also working to undo your endeavours. Efforts in this direction must remain consistent, robust and unrelenting and every person in the organization must understand the role they can and do play in helping to outsmart the competition.

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