When thinking about the strategy and the direction of your business staying ahead of the competition is another enabler for you when it comes to planning your business activities.
When looking at competitors undertaking some simple benchmarking is something that allows you to re look at your own business and change your strategy depending on the outcome, or not!

What can you measure your own business against?

1) Target market and market share – if your market share is lower than your competitors what is the reason why?
2) Product suite – do they offer exactly the same as you?  Do they offer more or less than you?  Are their products or services better, if so how?
3) What their clients say about them?  Look at client reviews and testimonials about your competitors
4) What is their marketing strategy or online presence?  Look at their social media, websites to see how accessible they are to their market place.

However, to get ahead of the competition you still need to address key aspects within your own business

1) Know your own marketplace – is your product or service still relevant and is there a market need, there is no point pumping funds into a product or service that is no longer required.
2) Know your customers – what do your customers want, what do they need, build your business with the end user in mind.
3) Add value to all of your clients, what is your niche or USP?
4) Attract and look after the brightest talent in your business, be the place people want to work hard for, they are your biggest asset so treat them well.

5) Build a great culture and vision customers and employees will engage with.
When looking at building and growing your business, look at what the best in the market do, then re write the script according to your own style, your own thoughts, your own experiences, past failures.  Always play to your own strengths and values important to you and the business.
Lorna Smith – Partner & Business Coach – Find me on LinkedIn 
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Lorna - Business Coach