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3 Imperatives to Maximize the Success of Your Small Business

I. Do Your Homework:
Rome was not built in a day and neither is your success. Any worthwhile endeavor requires both diligence and perseverance, so take the time to learn about your market. Identify the major players, the market share distribution, current products and services, the demographics, customer purchase trends, the business cycle, and any regional or local trends. From here, identify the product and service gaps, geography gaps, and demographic gaps. Does your offer currently fill any of these gaps? Is it feasible to incorporate service of any of these gaps into your offer?

You need to know the answer to the aforementioned questions for internal operations; you also need to communicate this externally. Investors want to know, “Why should I invest? How can I be certain that you will still be around in another five years?” Consumers consider switching costs and wonder, “I have an established provider, what is unique about your company and the services that you provide that I should switch to you from my current provider?

The ability to clearly and succinctly answer these questions creates your elevator pitch, enhances your strategy, and clarifies your market presence.

My consumerism is perhaps my greatest critic, spurring me to correct the errors of my own sites. If you can handle it, constructive criticism is a blessing, saving you time and money, in the long-run. 3 Critical Brand Communications

II. Never Underestimate the Competition:
Yes. Never let them see you sweat, but most importantly, never ever underestimate the capability or resilience of your competitors. Just as you will engage cunning mentors, entertain brilliant enthusiasts, and incorporate astonishing new strategies and tactics so too will your competitors. Make it a habit to think outside of your box and attempt to foresee your competitor’s perspective and most viable “moves.” But think chess not checkers, see the whole picture, make your next best move given the assessment and feedback, and realize that the competition may make a move that differs greatly from what you imagined.

Remain flexible and resilient.

III. Revisit Often:
The market changes: competitors leave, barriers shift, new entrants enter, consumer tastes evolve, demographics adjust, and new trends emerge. This is why complacency is never a good practice or attitude to employ – it will never keep you at the top of your game. To stay on top of this ever moving target an organization must remain informed, engaged, ready, and able to take action. Furthermore, the information must be fresh because, acting on stale information will only drive erroneous conclusions or conclusions that are not necessarily appropriate for the current moment- in-time.

Aim for a constant cycle of renewal and you will remain up-to-date and in alignment with your freshly informed consumer’s expectations.

Of course there are many things that an organization can employ that may or may not enhance the effectiveness of their efforts. However, these three imperatives will ensure that you are informed, that you maintain a competitive awareness, and that you are enabled to amplify your message in the most effective manner realize maximize the benefits of your efforts.