Competition exists in every market and industry. To stay ahead in business, you have to find ways to overcome your competitors and create a unique selling proposition to attract new customers.
How do businesses beat competition?
Firstly, you must understand what your customers want and what your market needs. You should:
- carry out market research
- assess your competition, their products or services, pricing, marketing etc
- understand your business' strengths and weaknesses
- determine your unique selling proposition
See how to identify new business opportunities.
Find your competitive advantage
A competitive advantage is key to winning new business. It sets your company apart from the competition, highlighting the benefits your customers receive when they buy from you.
Sources of competitive advantage can be, for example:
- your products and services
- your staff
- your reputation
- your business model
- your technology
- your unique processes and practices
To determine exactly what your advantage is, you should ask yourself how your business benefits its customers. List your key points of difference, or your unique selling points, to communicate to your customers. Find out how in marketing your business.
Use different strategies to compete
Any strategy that creates a strong market position for your business can be considered a competitive strategy. For example:
- Pricing - to compete on price, you must first understand your competitors' price points and the price your customers are willing to pay for your products or services. You can then set your pricing at a level that is profitable for you, but still affordable to your customers to prevent them from looking elsewhere. Competing on price may be possible if you are able, for example, reduce production costs, find a low-cost source of supply, or undercut your rivals. See how to price your product or service.
- Quality - high quality of products or services can help you attract customers and provide them with a positive buying experience that keeps them returning for more. Key to competing on quality could be well-trained staff, reliable suppliers, ability to innovate or providing exceptional customer service. Whatever your point of difference, it can help to offer evidence that you deliver on quality, eg through quality management standards, accreditation, etc.
- Sales - effective sales strategies can be a great point of distinction. From targeting the right customers to entering new markets, there are many ways to improve sales and profitability. As well as selling directly to customers or other businesses, you can also go after private or public contracts. Larger clients often result in more business and higher revenue, and can help raise customer awareness and confidence in your business. See how to tender for contracts and win business from big clients.
- Marketing - there are numerous ways to differentiate yourself with marketing. From traditional advertising to digital marketing and social media, you can explore opportunities to position yourself as a thought-leader or influencer in the field. You can create superior content for the web, embrace new social media platforms, offer exceptional user experience on your website, or combine all the different marketing efforts to build a loyal audience online. See how to create your marketing strategy.
It can help to create a long-term plan for your business to gain or maintain an advantage over your competitors. Read about strategic planning for business growth.