Within your business have you ever felt flat, disheartened that you are being constantly crushed beneath the competition and by bigger players in the market. Leaving you to feel that no matter what you do you are always the underdog.
Being at the bottom means you have full view of what's happening at the top. It also means there is only one way to climb and that is upwards. Try these 7 ways to advance your business not just above your competitors but beyond. Take control of your business and know that in every market there is the chance to be noticed and to attract attention from customers.
“Even in a crowded market, there is always an opportunity for your business to stand out.”
First, change your attitude. You won't get ahead with a defeatist mind set. Tell yourself that you and your business can still find a position even in a saturated market. This simple and extremely effective shift will help you to see things differently.
It takes practise to alter how we think so ensure you take time to work on developing and changing your mindset. As this becomes routine you can begin to open yourself up to viewing your business from a different angle and with a positive attitude.
"The 'I have nothing to lose mindest' is the best one to start with. Learn to convince yourself and start controlling what you think."
Second, understand your market. Getting to know everything about your industry and your competitors will allow you to find a gap or niche that can be filled by you. In every industry there is space for another player even if you have to squeeze yourself in through the backdoor.
Use free online tools to help track your competitors. This can be done by tracking keywords, hashtags and topics most used within your industry. Find out what these are and who is doing what, and not only incorporate them into your own strategy but by doing them better.
"Standing on the sidelines doesn't make you a spectator, it enables you to learn how to play the game."
Third, be willing to be inventive. Never be afraid to try something new. To not sound cliche, think outside of the box. Push boundaries and explore new avenues to grab your customers attention and bring them into your business.
In today’s online world we have the capability to skip adverts, and by doing so we are missing out on collecting marketing ideas. Spend time watching TV commercials and you will soon see that you don't always have to go with the obvious. Form new ideas, and aim to create something individual that others will want to copy.
"Look past the obvious and into a world of opportunities. Nobody but you set’s the limitations."
Fourth, offer the very best you can. This relates to price, delivery time frame and customer service. If you can't compete on price let your customers know you offer the best customer service. If you can't compete on speed tell them why, that you are dedicated to providing a high quality of work.
Don't just say you can do it, show your customers that you can. Solve their problems and reduce their pain points. Build on trust and provide no excuses to make them go elsewhere. And once you have a loyal following ask them for feedback and use this to let others know just what you can offer.
"Don't focus on doing your best, focus on doing better."
Fifth, tell your story. Small or family run businesses have more things to say than bigger companies. Use this to your advantage by making it personal. Not everyone likes to support the bigger players, so sell your story and use your business journey to pull in your customers.
Use your voice to tell your story and let your customers know they are dealing with a human. Social media loves honesty so stay true to yourself and your brand by allowing customers to engage with your business on a more personal level.
“Customers engage with people not robots or algorithms.”
Six, a change in tactic. Be on top of your analytics and if you feel things aren’t working change direction. Smaller businesses have less to lose so don't be afraid to try a different approach. If that doesn't work switch it up again, keep pressing in until you find something that works.
Don't focus on your failures, but instead use them as a positive. Your business shouldn't stand still, it should evolve and grow over time. Look towards the future rather than looking backwards, you can't change what happened yesterday but you can influence what may happen tomorrow.
"Take your eyes off of the rearview mirror and focus on driving your business forward."
Seven, and most importantly be yourself. There is only one you and therefore your business is automatically unique. It's your business, so use the greatest tool you have, yourself. Customers buy from people they like; plus they want to be made to feel special. It’s a relationship that needs to be nurtured.
But mistakes will get made along the way, and when they do don’t be afraid to admit where you went wrong. Be proactive, fix the problems and show your customers you can be quick to make things right. In the end they will respect you for it and ultimately reward you with more business.
“In every mistake made there is a lesson to be learnt. Falling over creates a chance to experience the next step differently.”
Starting a business is easy, keeping it working is not. You didn't form one without research so don't stop researching once you are established. Focus on knowing that even in a crowded market there is always the opportunity to find your place.
Big companies get formed and consume the market, but competition is always waiting in the wings to get started. This doesn't stop the big players moving forward. Learn this lesson whilst having one eye on your business and yourself and the other on your competition. Your business will do well, if you let it.
“Everyone is an underdog, it’s those who are willing to take the bigger bite that controls the market.”
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