We live in an unsteady environment where constant changes in the marketplace have become the norm. That also means what works today might not work tomorrow.
So how can you maintain a competitive position?
It would be a massive understatement to say that covid-19 changed the business world. It has changed the world. Sometimes it feels like being stuck on the spin cycle, getting tumbled around everything and everyone. And just when you think it has stopped, it all just changes gear.
Businesses who reacted quickly in the early stages of 2020 were able to keep afloat. But other businesses weren’t so lucky.
Every single business around the world has had to reshape the way they are doing business to be able to keep up with the ‘new normal’. The traditional ways are officially out the window as uncertainties stick around and businesses have to adapt to an increasingly unpredictable market.
But how do you adapt to constant change? What makes your business stay relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the market?
The Major Changes
Some major changes that covid-19 has brought along and have since stayed are:
- Working from home – Your home is your new office
- Freelance work
- Digital events
- Online education
- eCommerce – the new King of business
Mix these changes together with technological advancements (such as big data and automation) and the ever-changing needs and expectations of customers, and you get an environment that is yet to change even more in 2021 and beyond.
“The only constant in life is change.”Heraclitus
Now is the time to revisit your business model and adapt to these changes to survive. And here’s how:
1. Keep Up With Trends
I’m sure this is something you have likely already been doing, but I would like to reiterate the importance of it. If you want to stay ahead of the game you need to know what is happening in your industry.
Who is leading the industry? What are they doing better than you? How do they do it? What are some issues in your industry and how will it affect your business? How will you tackle these issues? Even better, can you provide a solution to these problems?
The good news is that keeping track of trends is now easier than ever and often – free! Go online and start researching, you will find plenty of helpful platforms and tools (like Google Trends) that provide valuable insights into your industry.
2. Stay On Top of Your Customer’s Needs
It’s not just the market that is constantly changing – people are too. And so will you have to stay on top with who your customers are and what they want.
You would have already identified who your best target audience is, how their customer journey looks like and best ways to reach them. But in a marketplace that is constantly changing, so are your customers’ needs and expectations.
Understanding that will help you better adapt to customer’s preferences, meaning you are able to offer more valuable products and services meeting their needs.
Remember – your customers are the driving force behind your business.
3. Use Agile Project Management
You could guess from the name what type of management this is. Agile project management is all about flexible project work. The aim is to give teams more flexibility while completing a complex project that traditionally takes a long time. It also is designed to offer a cost-effective solution to expensive project mistakes.
And this is how it works:
Say you have a new product idea that you want to introduce to the market. This involves a very labour and cost intensive process, so you would want to be sure that people are going to buy it.
Agile project management allows your team to do testing before going ahead and producing 10,000 pieces of your product. Sampling of smaller market segments allows your team to determine if your product is really wanted.
For example, the sample could be: Students vs. Professionals, Gen Z vs. Millennials, Moms vs. Singles. By physically testing your products to diverse segments, your team can use the results to respond to market changes and also adapt to changing customer needs.
4. Keep Learning
As one of the greatest physicists of all time said:
“Once you stop learning, you start dying.”Albert Einstein
This couldn’t be more true, especially in today’s environment!
Seminars (or webinars) and workshops are a great method to keep yourself educated and stay ahead of the market. Most of these events are now available online too and many of them are free.
These events often consist of knowledgeable speakers that have been in the business game for decades and bring along valuable experience. You can learn about vital information such as trends and the next big thing in your industry.
More than that, these events also are a great networking opportunity. Make new business connections and develop interesting relationships all while learning.
5. Support Your Employees
Everyone has different learning styles and needs for training. When implementing new technologies or major business changes, don’t forget to inform and train your employees accordingly.
This is crucial so they can adapt to changes smoothly and keep up their efficiency. Show your employee how to use a new technology, teach them about why you’ve implemented a major change and keep them informed about any upcoming changes.
Make sure you also provide continuous support and adequate training to create a strong and innovative working environment.
6. Welcome New Technologies
Keeping up with new technologies is super important to stay on top of industry trends and changes.
I get it, it can be frustrating when you have just created a seamless process and a new technology comes out messing it all up again.
But hey, these changes also bring some amazing opportunities with it. Think of saving your business valuable time and money. Think of creating an even more hassle-free, effective process.
Whether it’s with automation, big data systems, SEO, social media marketing, digital marketing or online events, modern tech can sharpen up your competitive advantage.
Sometimes new technologies can be overwhelming though, particularly if you are not from the field. That is when you want to bring in an expert to make sure you’re not wasting time and money.
Embracing change is your key to staying vital in 2021 – and beyond. Don’t forget to constantly adapt to keep afloat and maintain a competitive edge in the market.
We can assist you to achieve your competitive edge.
Call us a call today for a complimentary marketing consultation and we are happy to help.