Sunday, March 24, 2019

Business Management

Know your Competition

In order to compete effectively and outperform competition you need to know their strengths and weaknesses. Your product or service has to be unique or stand out against prime competitors.

To test your competitive intelligence; ask yourself:

1. Product mix
What products do you offer that competitors don’t offer? Is there a market void you can fill? A good competitive analysis will help determine best options.

2. Training
Are your employees as well trained to service customers as your competitor? Can your employees answer questions about your competitor’s products? Can you identify competitive weaknesses? Are you vulnerable in any way?

3. Promotion
Are you familiar with competitive messages? Check their websites, brochures and promotion material to understand their positioning and how it affects you. Does your competition spend more advertising and promotion that you do? How does that affect how you compete?

4. Supply lines
Do you know your competitors customers, suppliers and distributors? You need to know how strong their relationships are to know how you can compete most effectively.

Understanding your competition not only allows you to understand where you compete best but may offer the opportunity to collaborate in areas in which you do not directly compete. A competitor may be willing to refer customers to you if you offer a particularly unique product or service. This can only happen if you know your competition and develop a relationship of trust between you.

In the end use this knowledge to strengthen your own position and build your strategy and a place in the market.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Business Planning

You Can Reap Benefits of Strategic Planning 

Strategic Planning is a process to produce innovative and creative ideas which serve as the core framework for the company and designing its’ future. It provides a road to follow for success.

Strategic planning can have an immediate impact on the business; here a few benefits than can occur.

1. Make your future happen.
It is the difference between being proactive or reactive. Not every situation can be foreseen but you can make decisions and react to changing market conditions with the end in mind.

2. Establish direction.
Clearly define the purpose of the organization and establish realistic goals and objectives which can be clearly communicated to employees.  Provides a base from which progress can be measured, employees compensated and boundaries established for effective decision making.
3. Make wise business decisions
How do you distinguish between a good idea and a great idea?  Without a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and a mission or purpose for doing it, everything seems like a good idea.  What project do you invest in?  How should you prioritize?  Having clarity about what you want to do, who you need and how to get there will focus limited financial and people resources.

4. Increased profitability and market share
Focused planning and strategic thinking will uncover the customer segments, market conditions, and product and service offerings that are in the best interest of your business.  A targeted approach to markets and opportunities will guide your sales and marketing efforts, distribution and other business decisions which ultimately may mean more profit to the bottom line and a stronger market position.

5. Unique differentiation:  avoid “me too”
Companies often get used to looking at their competitors and their best practices and then trying to duplicate them that it becomes harder to tell the companies apart.  They all start to look the same with less distinction in unique value.  Strategy means having a unique differentiation that sets you apart from your competitors.

6. Increased job satisfaction. 
Consistently one of the top reason for leaving a firm is the lack of job satisfaction.  People need to have a motivation to come to work and feel like part of the team.  Employees are often the greatest source for innovative ideas.  The purpose and meaning of work gives a new focus and reason to show up each day if they participate in developing the Strategic Plan.

I hope these ideas provide some clarity on the benefits of developing an overall plan.

Please let me know your thoughts.