Maintaining Your Business’s Competitive Edge

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / April 12, 2024
Maintaining Your Business's Competitive Edge

In this article, we’ll be exploring areas you can focus on if you’re looking to maintain your business’s competitive edge. Modern business changes daily, and you need to evolve with your business over time.

Whether you’re planning a start-up, already running a business, or preparing to study an online MSBA, it’s important to remember what can give you a competitive edge. These are the different areas you should focus on and add to your skill set if you want to be business-minded.

Financial Planning

Don’t leave the financial planning to just your accountants. If you plan on owning a business, it’s critical to be a part of the growth of your company and learn how to handle the finances, including financial planning.

Good financial planning can assist with keeping you focused and on track as your company grows. It helps paint a clear picture for company growth, teaches sensible cash flow management, and can help with risk mitigation.

We recommend that taking a class in finance or accounting is just as important as studying a business course. It’ll help teach you how to responsibly handle your business’s resources, even in times of crisis.

Maintaining Your Business's Competitive Edge

Market Research

Market research can be one of the strongest tools for keeping a competitive business edge. It can help identify potential problems and growth areas and is indispensable for informing strategies.

According to a recent study by Statista, the global market research industry was worth $81 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. It’s expected to grow an extra 10 billion within the next few years, with this growth driven by the demand for data-driven decision-making.

A study by Forrester found that 78% of marketing executives say that data is what drives their investment decisions. Additionally, 92% of marketing professionals in the study believed data was key to their success.

See also  11 Tips for Breaking Out of Your Cubicle Now

If you don’t want to believe the studies, we can look at all the real-world examples. From major entertainment companies, for instance, Netflix to tech giants like Apple, they all use data to develop their products and even personalize recommendations.

Market research is the future for every company, and the data being analyzed is the lifeblood of any successful decision. Whether you’re already running a company or planning to study business in the future, it’s essential to remember the importance of market research.

Customer Service

We know it’s a cliché, but the importance of customer service for maintaining a competitive business edge can’t be understated. A company is only ever as successful as its clients or customers, and if you need a reason to focus on them—we’ve listed them out.

1. Boosting sales

There’s more to customer service than just ensuring that they’re happy at the end of the day. While it’s true that it can help to retain customers, it can also help boost sales. Here are some key statistics from Help Scout about the ROI on great customer service.

  • 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for a product or service when they know the brand offers good customer service.
  • Statistics from Khoros report that for 86% of customers, good service turns one-time clients into ‘long-term brand champions’.
  • A report from HubSpot Research states that 89% of customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase if the business offers good customer service.

2. Retaining customers

The last thing you want to do is leave a bad impression on a customer or client. If you’re looking to build a strong brand name and a long-lasting customer base, excellent customer service is key.

See also  10 Useful Tips to Deal With Toxic People & Defamation

In a study from Zendesk, they reported that three out of five consumers state that good customer service is ‘vital for them’ to feel loyalty towards a brand. Similar studies from other data companies suggest the same outcome.

Customer retention rates are no joke. Statistics from Bain and Company report that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by between 25% and 95%.

3. Collecting data

Customer service tools aren’t only for supporting customers; they can be used to improve your own business as well. For instance, data from your help desk can be used to see how your products or services are selling and to get customer feedback.

Tools can even be used in creative ways to track the most requested customer features or to optimize your team’s support abilities. Customer satisfaction works both ways and can be a win-win situation for the consumer and the company.

Maintaining Your Business's Competitive Edge

Innovative Products

It’s a well-known fact the road to success for any business is paved with product innovation. The world of business today is fast-paced and competitive for all markets—whether it’s software, entertainment, or even education.

Companies and directors can’t just rely on maintaining their current customers to grow their market share—it’s important to innovate and improve their products. This includes creating new products and services to meet their customer’s needs, and sometimes before they even know it.

If you’re studying business, take to heart that innovative solutions need to do two things. Firstly, it needs to put the needs of the customer at the center of the product, while also being efficient and reducing costs for the company.

See also  How to Hack Your To-Do List

Brand Reputation

In today’s competitive business market, a company can live and die depending on its brand reputation. Consumers have been shifting from product-centric to brand-centric decision-making, so to maintain a competitive edge, it’s important to understand how to build a brand.

One of the strongest tools for building a strong brand reputation is through building a brand identity and a strong social media presence. Securing an online presence, and promoting the brand on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, is a great way to increase visibility.

Whether you’ve just started a business or you’re a few years into directing a company—if you haven’t already, it’s important to learn brand building. Brand building is also a great way to connect to your consumers and tell your business’s story.

Personal Development

When you’re a business owner, whether you’re the head of a massive company or a small start-up, it’s easy to forget about yourself. Keeping a business running and ensuring growth is important, but it’s also important to ensure that you grow along with it.

Personal growth and development will look different for every individual. When it comes to thinking about what works for you, consider learning new skills or abilities that you can reinvest in your business.

For example, this could be taking a class in search engine optimization or taking a marketing course which can help improve your brand reputation. Whether it be an educational pursuit, or even changing your day-to-day mindset and practices, it’s important to take time for yourself.

About The Author

April Isaacs

April Isaacs is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of experience. From the art scene in Paris to pastures in Montana, April has covered individuals' stories and can confirm that no two stories are the same.

x

Get Funded Faster!

Proven Pitch Deck

Signup for our newsletter to get access to our proven pitch deck template.