In the small business world, the challenge of staying ahead of the competition may seem to be a daunting task. You have just launched an innovative product into the market and up comes a competitor’s product which is an imitation of yours, and lo behold, you find your revenues and monopoly on the innovation, diminishing before your very eyes. You may feel swept away, as if a tornado hit you from nowhere, but, it’s not the end of the world. Actually it is a challenge thrown to you and you have to pick up the gauntlet and try to carve your own special segment in the market. Here are some tips to help keep you ahead of your competitors.
Gain total Information about your Competitors
When a competitor’s product threatens the success of your product, this knowledge is of extreme importance. You should mobilize your team, or hire an agency to collect all the information you can about the competitor’s sales and find out how strong the competition is in the market. The information needed should include data on the competitor product’s sales cycle, the influence on your target market, and an in-depth details of their product. This would enable you to create a new aspect of your innovative product which would differ from your competitor’s and improve your market segment against the competitor.
Give your Product a New USP
Now that you have the information on the competitor’s product, you can use it and analyze it to see whether your product has the winning edge so that you can use that factor to enhance your product. Taking the nature of your business into consideration, this can mean many things. It can be just a price reduction, or presenting your product in a different light, to a slightly different audience. Or you may have to investigate deeper and scrutinize the details to find out where their product differs and whether it is fulfilling any need that yours is not. Finding answers for all these questions will show you the way to refine your product and win against the competition.
Give your team the financial assurance
When going for an innovation, there is always the possibility of financial uncertainty. It is better to reduce these feelings of uncertainty, through forecasting of sales and revenue generation based on hard facts, past sales, and estimated future sales. These projections could help you build a base for the immediate future and you can make your plans accordingly.
Create a growth oriented environment
Once you capture the market segment, it is your turn to aggressively go in for business growth. You must regard the challenge as an offensive strategy rather than a defensive one. While maintaining your current customer base, make efforts to capture your competitor’s customers. You can do this by offering a product which is superior and has a tangible benefit which your competitor’s product does not have.
Competition is something that you have to deal with right from the day you start business, or launch a new product or service, in one aspect or the other. Therefore, keep your eyes open and keep a track of your competitors and constantly enhance your product or services to meet the advancing needs of your target market. It is one of the most successful way to stay ahead in business.