It’s times like these, when your competitors are distracted, that you can get the jump on them. If your competitors have had to lay off staff, or cut expenses, they may be just limping along. Marketing was probably one of the first things they pulled back on – even while knowing they shouldn’t have. Chances are they haven’t invested in new technology … trying instead to “get by” with the computers and systems they have. By the time their business picks up (if it ever does), they will have a lot of catching up to do.
You, on the other hand, can be putting this time to good use. Strive to outperform your competitors while they are distracted. Here are seven steps that will help you get ahead of the competition:
1. Set clear growth and profitability goals. Not just a fuzzy idea of where you want to be next week, next month or next year – your goals must be much more specific. What are your sales targets? What steps do you need to take each week to meet your sales goals? Break it down into small steps. The problem most small businesses face is too much distraction, too many projects at once, too little focus. It’s a lot easier to beat the competition when you are focused on it. Here are some resources to help you with goal setting and planning: Plan-As-You-Go Business Planning and SCORE Business Tools.
2. Know your customers’ needs and wants better than your competitors. If you haven’t done a customer survey within the past 12 months, it’s time for one. And communicate the results widely through your company – a survey is no good unless you use the data gathered. Most companies do not share their survey results widely internally – you’ll be better than average if you do. Use tools like SurveyMonkey, Constant Contact or QuestionPro to perform surveys painlessly online. Or go on customer visits. Call on your customers to see how they are doing, or whether they have any problems you can help them with. You’ll get a chance to see them in their working environment, which will help you understand their needs better.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.