“While most are dreaming of success, winners wake-up and work hard to achieve it.” — Unknown
You cannot sit in your lounging chair, sipping a cocktail and wait for success to come to you. This is a highly competitive world. No matter which field you are in and how difficult the entry barrier is, you will always find competitors, old and new, ready to push you back. To stay in the game, you need to outrace this crowd of competitors.
The saying above hits directly at the point. To achieve success as a small business entrepreneur, you need to stay on the competitive edge by working hard and striving towards your goal. Your work should not be considered a burden, but a passion to help you climb the ladder of success. Below are some useful tips to help you outshine your competitors and win.
Identify and Take Advantage of the Competitors’ Weak Points
The thought that your competitor is offering a better product at a lower price, should not be a let down in any way. Your competitor may be good, but he is not the best. Every firm has some weak points or shortcomings. These shortcomings are your opportunity. You just need to do a bit of homework on your part and identify these weak links which you can then use to your advantage.
Friendly customer service, more personalization and extended guarantees are some of the ways to win the loyalty of your customers. In such a chaotic world, people want to feel valued. If you give them value, they will be quite willing to return it.
Most customers tend to remember experiences that are either too bad or too good. If your company, even though small and less well-known, is able to offer an amazing and unforgettable experience to your customer in addition to a common product/service, the customer will always choose you over your competitor, even if they have to pay a little more for it. They will also be glad to refer you to their contacts, bringing you more business as a result. Once you turn the weaknesses of your competitors into your strengths, you will be able to convince prospective clients how and why you are a better choice for them.
Optimize Your Resources
To run a business profitably, you need to use your resources in an efficient manner. As a small business, resource management is extremely important and will help you save a lot of money that you may be wasting without knowing. The key to managing your resources well is to minimize waste as much as possible and maximize the value that you are offering to your customers.
The value of a product is basically what the customer is willing to pay you for your products or services. If you are giving them any additional features, other than the core product or service, make sure that customers really want it and will value it. If that’s not the case, the best option is to drop it out.
For this purpose, you need to be in constant touch with your clients to know why they are willing to buy your product and how it is benefitting them. The effort you make in listening to their views and opinions will surely pay off as it will save you the extra money spent on unnecessary additional features.
Pursue the Cream of the Crowd
Apply the 80/20 rule for success. It is commonly known that 80% of the revenues that a company earns are from 20% of the clients. These 20% are the huge clients who are willing to place huge orders. These are the cream of your clientele and should be pursued at all costs.
The business you get from them can be interpreted into greater sales and increased revenues, which is crucial for small business and new startups. Moreover, large firms can help you network in the industry, build your credibility and refer you to other important prospective clients.
You can also convince large firms that you are a better company to do business with, even though you are still small in size. This is because your size will allow you to work quickly and invest your time into new ideas. Also, a smaller company like yours will be able to give them a more personalized service.
This certainly does not mean that you should not attend to your smaller clients at all. They are equally important but your main focus should be your larger clients.
Do Your Math Well
While striving forward, entrepreneurs surprisingly lose track of their path midway. This is because they focus more on their surroundings than on the goal. It is crucial for all small business entrepreneurs to concentrate on their goal. To do this, they need to keep track of the numbers involved in business. Here are some of the key elements you need to keep track of:
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – This is the cost a business incurs every time it acquires a new customer.
- Average Customer Value (ACV) – This is the total amount of money the client spends on your products/services in a certain time period.
- Break Even – This is the amount of sales you have to achieve to cover the fixed and variable costs of production.
- Return on Investment (ROI) – This is the return you gain on investing a certain amount of money to market your offerings.
These are important numbers. If you keep track of them, you will be able to harness your business and keep it under your control. You can continuously modify and improve them to be more cost-effective, to be more efficient in your dealings and to provide better value to customers.