Some people get into business because they see the product or service as a cause. Some people get into business because it is an adrenaline pumper and a sport. The two aren’t exclusive. Both, however, required the idea that there is something to achieve. As such, oppositions occur. These can be other businesses in their market or themselves. What results from this is the focus on being better. A drive is instilled to beat the competition in whatever way is deemed appropriate. Profit margin is the general marker on which to judge success. However, there can be other markers such as patents, distribution efficiencies, or pricing. To be competitive in business, you must be at least as good as others in the market. To be better than them, you must make marginal gains on what they do well and surpass them on the things they don’t do well. Here are three tips that will help you get ahead of the competition.
Be Aware of the Market
As alluded to, knowing where the market is and what competitors are doing is half the battle. All you have to do is think about Watergate, numerous hack scandals, or Marcelo Bielsa’s ‘Spygate’ to know the desperation people go to know what the opposition is up to because, once you have that information, it’s easier to understand how to stop them.
It is difficult to know exactly what a business is doing behind the scenes. However, data does provide some indication of how well they’re performing and how the publicly known policies and practices are helping them. Markets can change quickly as other businesses develop new technology or models. Ensuring that you are up-to-date is essential to adapting and pushing standards.
Focus on Value-Creation
Certain manual and repetitive tasks take up too much of the workload. Multiple employees can be caught up doing these tasks. The aggregate cost – financial and temporal – of these over a year, say, can be significant. Cloud-based computing offers a solution to these problems.
Let’s take SysAid’s IT service management software as an example. Their software offers a single integrated system for IT service and support. What this allows is greater and easier access to view, secure, and manage assets and analytic tools to assess performance, but, also, as the automation of processes. The last feature of the software is where a lot of eyes will go. This will obviously free up workload space for employees as they are relieved of having to fulfill manual and repetitive tasks. However, the other features improve efficiency. Everything is completed quicker and easier, which, again, saves time and effort.
This saved time and effort can be spent on value-creating projects, which will benefit the business in the short- and long-term.
Spending more than the competition doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Some businesses can take the risk of the scatter-gun approach and hope something works. However, others have to be smarter. There is a sporting, analytic term, developed in the MLB and adopted by many other sports and sports teams, from the Houston Rockets (principally Daryl Morey) to Liverpool FC, called ‘Moneyball.’ In essence, it means finding and extracting value in undervalued things. It is not about finding cheap ways to do things. It’s about seeing the potential in discarded or disregarded things and making them work for you.