Research key to beating competition

Research, knowing your customers' needs and a good strategic plan will keep you ahead of your competitors.

Research, knowing your customers' needs and a good strategic plan will keep you ahead of your competitors.

For one's business to stand out, it is essential to regularly conduct research and also be aware of the following:

l Your competitor's business activities - bearing in mind that only creativity and innovation will set you apart from the rest. You must always keep your eyes on what competitors are doing.

l Follow current industry trends consistently. You can be aware of what the competitor is doing, but you need much more than that to avoid nasty surprises.

l Establish what your competitor's potential plans of action are for the near future.

Many business marketing materials like brochures annual reports contain detailed information on companies' plans for growth. Study this information carefully and embark on strategic activities that capitalise on what the competitor left out.

l To get more ideas on what to do to better your product or service, you must talk to your customers and consider their input seriously.

While some customers may lie, most will tell you exactly what they want and what they would expect from your business in future. This is important because the key to success in any business is satisfying customers.

l Technology is one aspect of business, which if correctly utilised, can put you ahead of your competitors.

Get educated and know what is available including new software tools to help you with accounting, customer relations, marketing, and affordable ways to increase productivity. You won't know the effect of technology until you start using it.

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