GETTING AHEAD IN BUSINESS
To have a competitive advantage, you must create an edge over your competitors. In the aggressive business world, especially in today’s economy, every advantage counts to establish your business in the top of your industry. Gaining a competitive advantage takes planning, strategy, keeping up with trends and making adequate rooms for adjustments and changes. In fact improvement is key, your business should never be satisfied with its current position.... even if it holds top place in its category. Below are some important factors that would help you as a business owner or entrepreneur.
FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
(Analyze your target market and identify your competition)
Your target market is “a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services” (Entrepreneur). A target market is distinguished by socio-economic, demographic, and common characteristics or needs that make them the best audience to focus on selling to. To uncover your target market, answer the following simple questions: What am I selling? Who will most likely buy or consume my product or service? Before you can crush your competition, you need to know who they are. Find out which businesses are going after your same target market. How do they differentiate themselves from other companies in the industry? Where are they located? To find this information, business directories can be used to search free company profiles. Information included in the company profiles are company overview, contact information, location, key facts, employees, and company payment rating.
NEVER LEARN ENOUGH
(Learn from your competition and your customers)
Don’t be afraid of your competition, but rather use them as a learning tool and assess their business model. Learn your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses – imitate their strengths, and use their weaknesses to your advantage. Acquire information, do research that would help you to construct and analyze a competitive landscape of the target market. The business information you learn from your rivals will help you develop the competitive edge you need to surpass them in your industry. Intimate customer knowledge is equally important as competitor knowledge. Gaining in-depth insights about your customer portfolio will allow you to maximize revenue potential, increase customer retention, and boost prospective customers. You can use a mix of many tools and methods to measure consumer insight and both your position in the market and the positions of your competitors. Along with traditional company information resources, consider social media analysis tools that allow consumer insight mining on a large scale. Twitter is a good harvesting field for your target market.
MAKE YOUR BRAND A TREND
(Stay on the cutting edge)
Once you’ve gained a competitive advantage, your work is far from complete. To be successful, you will need to continuously maintain your competitive advantage. After all, your competitors are not going to sit back and allow you to steal their market share. You can maintain your competitive advantage by predicting future trends in your industry, constantly researching and monitoring your competitors, and adapting to your customer’s wants and needs. Sometimes you may need to take chances to keep ahead of the pack and differentiate your business, but with big risk often comes big reward – Just remember to do your research before diving head first into new ideas.
USE EVERYTHING AVAILABLE
(Use Business Information Resources).
The information revolution is here – take advantage of it! It creates a competitive advantage by providing companies with new ways to outperform their rivals. Knowledge is power, and business information companies provide just that. Get professional help with research and data that would invariably show you the best choices and decisions to make.
(Review your business plan occasionally)
A business plan is the map or chart that guides a business. When equipped with a very good and flexible business plan ,it becomes easy for business owners and entrepreneurs to know where they are coming from, where they currently are, and where they want to be in the future. It is essential to stick to the plan, and make necessary adjustments when necessary.
Mind 4 Business
Are you a graduate, student, NYSC corp-member or aspiring Nigerian youth? Do you want to start your own business?
Facts, there are no jobs in Nigeria, there is little or no incentive for starting a business in Nigeria, almost impossible for students to integrate business and academics, raising of capital is almost impossible, there is no electricity, cost of living is high...... these and many others are more than enough excuse and reasons for many Nigerian students not to give any place in their minds for starting a business in school and most times after graduation from school.
Truth, there are a thousand reasons: but not a single excuse for you not to become a self employed, self start, SME entrepreneur. There is a whole new world out there waiting to get explored, a whole new potential waiting to get utilised.
Truth again, you may not have the skills and knowledge and necessary to pursue a career in being an entrepreneur, but like most every other things in life, it can be developed and learned. Our established schooling system, does very little in preparing us for the outside world, we go to school for a number of years and still come out as novice in key areas such as entrepreneurship. Any attempt at effecting any change in policy that may provide incentives for the Nigerian student in starting their own business is almost certain to fail, due to bureaucratic bottled-necked government officials, who would find a million ways to scheme and covert any funds allotted to such programs.
So what choice is the Nigerian student left with, Only a heart set desire to succeed would guarantee any aspiring Nigerian student-entrepreneur the hopes of actualising his dreams and visions in becoming an accomplished Entrepreneur. There may be a lot of hurdles and impossible obstacles on the way, but with a passion to succeed, you would eventually come out successful in entrepreneurship and your given choice of business endeavours.
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