If you are just starting out with your business, you will be wanting to find an edge over the competition as soon as possible. Unless you have found a niche industry or unique product, you will probably be competing with online distributors and big-box retailers for the attention and wallet of your local consumers. To improve your odds at standing out above the other choices, consider these five ways to create a special advantage for your business.
1. Don’t Chase Down Prospects
The obvious goal of a new business is to develop a wide customer base, with clients, customers, and prospects that help bring in new people. However, to keep chasing down leads and developments in these areas can get tiresome. Not only that, but it is hard and discouraging. The best way to assemble the customer base you want is through creating a reputation for your company that causes you to stand out from the rest. You will want to establish a name for yourself that puts you as a leading authority or specialist in your area. It can take a little longer to plan out an approach that follows this logic, but the rewards are great. People will begin to seek you out rather than you going out and trying to hunt them down. A touch of elitism and exclusivity creates desirability that puts the ball in your court when it comes to choosing accounts.
2. Create a Movement, Not a Plan
If you are just going to create a master plan for success, you will probably find good help but yet your staff will be without loyalty. If you establish your business as being about something, whether it is the way your brand or service can change your community or impact people’s lives, then people will be more willing to jump in for the long haul. When you are working for a cause that is greater than yourself, morale and motivation are much different than simply punching a time clock.
3. Rely on Established Resources
Even if you have a corner on the market in your area, you aren’t the first person to start a business or try to get a plan off the ground. If you want to succeed, it is perfectly acceptable and even suggested that you work with tools that have proven successful for others or you incorporate tips from prior business leaders. Using managed data services is one way to help keep all of the information and reporting in one convenient place, without having to spend hours pouring over what it all means. Speaking to businessmen at Chamber of Commerce luncheons and networking meetings can help you get practical advice on what to do to help your success. Being smart includes learning from your own mistakes, but being wise means learning from both the successes and failures of others.
4. Solve the People Problem
An important concept, you won’t be able to create a successful company entirely on your own. At some point, you will be dealing with vendors, clients, or employers, and you will need to know how to lead these relationships toward long-term success. The things you choose to pursue in client or customer connections will be different from what you want from your employees. Develop what is common among the group you are dealing with, so be sure to compliment areas of strength and work harder on improving the areas of weakness.
5. Create Company Groupies
The highest compliment you can receive is a group of loyal, raving fans who are ready to sing your praises and follow you to the ends of the earth. This doesn’t just have to be about your customers. You can develop the same sense of loyalty and enthusiasm within your company personnel. Using incentives, a culture of service, investing in building others up, and exceeding all the expectations of those who interact with your business is the best way to create strong advocates for your company.