Is your Business Ready to Compete?

As we approach the season of basketball tournaments, I want to focus on how ready your business is to face your competition and take home the title.

Like a winning sports team, a winning business has a strategy to follow. From there they will build a playbook to follow. So what does that look like for your business?

Developing a strategy takes into consideration every aspect of the business and of the team. Start with a clear assessment of strengths and weaknesses. You will want to leverage your strengths and make plans to improve the areas that are not as strong. Areas to examine are every process, your products and services, and your team members. Are you offering quality products and services? Is it easy to buy from you? Does your team have the skills necessary to produce quality products and deliver stellar customer service?

Offer Value

A winning strategy includes a unique selling proposition (USP) that is clear to both your customers and your potential customers. It requires being able to clearly communicate what is special or unique about your product or service, and how it solves the customer’s problem or meets their needs better than the competition does. This is not about price; it is about providing the best value for the customer.

Efficiency Matters

Lean and effective operations is a key component to being competitive. You need to eliminate waste in both time and materials. The use of checklists and documented processes will result in consistent quality and timely delivery. Get input from your team on the best way to do something. They often have valuable insight and ideas. Team members that are comfortable sharing ideas are far more engaged with the business and other team members.

Keep up with the Times

We don’t live in a static world. Keeping up with changes in the industry, customer preferences, tax codes, and regulations are all part of staying at the forefront of your market. Sometimes this means that you need to support risk-taking. What is scarier – trying something new, or being left behind and losing customers? 

Build an Effective Team

You can’t do everything by yourself. Being competitive means building a strong team. Training should not be an expense. It is an investment in yourself, your people and in your business. Your business cannot grow if you and your people are not growing. Investing in your team not only increases their skills it also increases their motivation and engagement.

Financial Health

We have to include money in this discussion. You cannot be competitive and growing without strong financial support and resources. You need to have enough cashflow to support your team, operations, and marketing efforts. A winning strategy includes regular reviews and monitoring of your financial position. 

Know your Competition

Just like a sports team that scouts the competition, it is important that you know and understand your competitors. You want to understand what makes them unique. You need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. If they are a strong competitor with similar products, you’ll need to make your brand stand out (this goes back to your USP as mentioned above). You’ll also need to identify the key customer touch points where you can deliver exceptional service in order to create loyal, raving fans.

Competition isn’t all Bad

Being a competitive business forces you to be the best you can be at all times. It presupposes innovation which leads to improvements for both the business and the customers. Well trained and supported employees build efficiencies and great relationships with customers. Customers who know they will be buying quality and will be treated well not only return as repeat customers, but they also refer you to other potential customers.

This March I hope that you will be doing a thorough competitive analysis on your business, then develop a strategy to achieve success. Need help? Let’s schedule a strategy session.

And I hope you have a winning basketball bracket too!

Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY

Is your Business Ready to Compete?