Depending on whose statistics you believe, 50-75% of all new businesses fail in the first 2 to 3 years. So, if your business is still in its infancy, and your results are lagging, then you should be concerned and prepared to take immediate action to turn things around.
If you look closely at root cause, there are three fundamental reasons for most of these new business failures: Continue reading…
Building strong alliances and partnerships with both industry and local partners should be a high priority for any business that wants to rapidly expand its customer base, its products and services portfolio, and dramatically improve sales and profits. There are numerous benefits to selling with and through partners. Here are some of the more significant benefits:
Receive generous commissions on products and services sales
Gain access to leading products, services and business building tools
Receive training and support from branded products and services companies
Obtain free sales and marketing tools to help you identify new revenue sources
Strengthen your brand through business relationships with high profile partners
Expand your market reach without major investments in advertising and marketing
Extend your value proposition by offering a broader array of products and services Continue reading…
In “Become a Leader in Your Market Niche – Part 1”, I covered some of the basics of how to get started in positioning your company as a leader in your industry. Now it’s time to fill in the blanks. At this point, you have completed a competitive analysis, a customer assessment, compiled your list of JVs and partners, and received expert advice on how to integrate social media marketing into your overall business plans.
So, what’s next?
Identify your leadership target(s). What do you want to be known for, or a leader in? And what are your recognized strengths that can be leveraged as a competitive advantage? Are you perceived as an innovator or technology leader? Do you offer superior products or services? Is your company recognized for quality or operational excellence – i.e. Six Sigma, ISO 9001? Do customers rank your company’s service ahead of the competition?
Does your company receive high praise from its employees as a great place to work, or from the community at-large for its charitable donations and volunteer work? Select your leadership target(s) carefully, and make sure they are in alignment with how the market perceives your business today. Continue reading…
“If you’re not the lead dog on the sled, the scenery never changes.”
The same thing is true in business, isn’t it? Unfortunately, there can only be one market share leader in any given business segment, but there are other ways to become a leader in your market niche. So, where do you start if you’re not a leader today?
Know the competition. Learn all you can about their products and services, who they are selling to, and how they price, advertise, promote and market their offers. Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the author of Competitive Advantage, stated that “A firm differentiates itself from its competitors if it can be unique at something that is valuable to buyers.”
Once you have completed a thorough competitive analysis you can then identify the key areas of differentiation, and begin to communicate your competitive advantages to the outside world in a way that is compelling and entices prospects to buy from you.
Know your customers. Why are your customers buying from you, and what do they like and dislike about your business? Continue reading…