There’s a pretty good chance that a startup coming into the current marketplace is going to be faced with more competition than ever before. The market is practically saturated with various startups fighting for space. Not only are there various different businesses competing in the same sector. But trying to get the attention of customers has never been as challenging as it is right now. With the advent of the internet age, it’s never been easier to promote your business. Of course, the flip side of that is that it applies to every other business as well. When it comes to keeping ahead of the competition, you can’t just rely on the quality of your product or service. Running a successful business is about so much more than just that. You’ve got to make sure that the business itself is always at the forefront of modern developments. Not only that but you’ve got to be leading those developments. Just following along will leave you lagging behind your competitors every step of the way. That innovation needs to come from every aspect of your business, from the very top to the very bottom. Trying to create that sort of business from the very start is the best thing that you can do. That way you don’t have to worry about adjusting ingrained working methods. With that in mind, here are five things that you can do to make sure that your business always has the edge over the competition.
Create a dynamic workplace
If you want to create a business that is dynamic and exciting enough to stand out from the crowd, that’s got to start with the workplace itself. If you’re trying to produce something innovative, then an office of miserable people working in cubicles just won’t do. An office environment that’s stern, draconian and outdated is just going to produce a company that feels the same. Not only that but it can have a serious impact on productivity. Surprise, surprise, people work better when they’re engaged with what they’re doing. Who could have imagined? The best thing that you can do is to work hard to create as dynamic a workplace as possible. Make sure your office is laid out in such a way that your employees can discuss and collaborate. Let them know that they are valued and respected as intelligent individuals. Even a small change, like offering alternative seating can make a massive difference. A great start is offering your employees standing desks instead of keeping them stuck in their chairs all day. Of course, make sure that however they’re working, your employees are safe and comfortable. You won’t want to use standing desks without comfortable mats to stand on. You can find some fantastic ones at www.amazon.com/Sky-Fatigue-Kitchen-Standing-Black/dp/B00M8O122G
Produce a narrative
Human beings love stories. It’s just wired into our brains that we connect with a rich and compelling narrative. It might seem like raw data, and information should be enough to let customers know just how much they need your product. Sadly, that’s just not how people work. You could show them actually how your product would improve their lives. But without something emotional to connect with, it won’t matter. You need to tell a story with your business. In fact, treat your startup itself like a story. When you’re telling that story to the world, you need to do so with wit and excitement. A story, badly told can lose people’s interest fast. Customers want to see the people behind the business. Let them see you and understand where you’ve come from. Tell the story of where your idea came from, how the business started and what it stands for. If you can turn your startup into a narrative, it will create an emotional investment from customers that will create a true sense of loyalty. It’s about creating an emotional connection. The great thing is, you will already have a strong connection to your business. All you need to do is find a way to share that with the world.
What do your customers really want from you?
Remember that you might look at your product very differently to your customers. It’s important that you think carefully about what parts of your business actually matter to them. This should make a big difference to the way you communicate your business depending on who you’re talking to. When you’re discussing elements of your business with investors, then you’re going to focus on the facts of growth and finance. But when you’re talking to a customer that’s not going to do you any good. The audience for your business wants to know about the things you can do that other companies can’t. They want to know the value they can get from your product. They want you to show them the impact your product will have on their lives. Don’t forget that to be able to tell them those things; you’ve got to have a good idea of who your target customer really is. Make sure you’ve done enough research that you’re able to adjust the way that you talk about your business in the right way. You’ll need to communicate very differently to teenage boys than you would women in their forties. Communicating in the right way but to the wrong customers is just going to end up being a complete waste of your time, energy, and resources.
Customers are bombarded with advertising every day. It’s reaching the point where many of them are just filtering a lot of ads out completely and never even thinking about them. This means that a startup that wants to be a success has to find new and different ways to reach them. One of the absolute best methods of doing this is through finding the right influencers. Influencers are people with an established following who can direct them towards products that they enjoy. The key for your business is to find the right influencers for your business. Find people who are a good fit with your business. Look at the sorts of things they usually share with their following. Do those things fit well with what you produce? You should also make sure you pick people who will take a genuine interest in your product. Customers can tell when someone isn’t speaking to them in a genuine way. If someone that they enjoy is sincerely and enthusiastically pointing towards your product, it has a certain weight to it. They’re predisposed to listen to things that an influencer says and an endorsement for your product can provide a serious boost.
With any startup, you should be prepared to knock on a lot of doors with no luck. Even the best and most successful businesses in the world had their share of knock backs. You will be turned down by investors. You will be ignored by customers. These are things you’re just going to have to come to terms early on. Because if you don’t, you’re going to find yourself becoming discouraged very quickly. The problem with so many startups is that as soon as they start coming up against problems, they fold and disappear. The big difference is that if you stick at it and refuse to give up, eventually you’ll be able to make it. A huge amount of startups that failed did so because they weren’t willing to get back up after being knocked down time and time again. Rather than getting discouraged, treat those things as a learning opportunity. Think about what it was that set you back. Is it something that you can change or improve on? If you take on this mindset, every setback will just bring you that much closer to the moment that your business finally becomes a success.
Of course, in the end, the most important thing that you can do to stay ahead of your competition is to have a product that is genuinely innovative. Being able to fill a gap in the market with something that consumers really want should be your number one priority. All the bells and whistles are pointless without that. You could be running the best, most innovative business but it means nothing without the right product. But if you can honestly say that you have that product. That you know that customers genuinely want what you have to offer. Then you’re already in a fantastic position to be able to create a business that stands out from the crowd and will succeed where others have failed. Treat this advice as the next step. Following these steps is the way to go from a fantastic product to a dynamic, successful and profitable business.