1. When did you last complete a competitor analysis?

Almost all business owners / managers are aware of their direct competitors but when was the last time you actually completed a formal analysis by way of a ‘competitor analysis’? This should be at least an annual process to help pin-point key opportunities for improvement. To complete a competitor analysis:

• List 4-5 insights / key success factors down the left hand side of your page then weight them out of 100

• List your business now in a column along the top followed by a further 3-4 competitors

• Now score your business 50% of the weighting as a benchmark and then score each competitor against the various insights / key success factors

The key question to ask at the end of this quick exercise is, “What is the biggest area you could focus on to lift your score and thus improve your ability to beat your competitors?”

2. Focus on your early adopters

When planning a new innovation, project or roll-out of a new strategy businesses will often announce the change to all team members or customers at the same time. This can typically lead to the ‘laggards’ or those not as open to change pushing back regardless of the positive impact the suggested change will achieve. This in turn reduces the potential success of the new initiative. To boost the potential of success in rolling out a new project or strategy a more effective approach would be to introduce it to the early adopters in the team or within the customer base to get their buy-in first and iron out any issues (as they are happy to provide constructive feedback and embrace new ideas). After this first phase is completed with early adopters and issues ironed out the entire team can then be approached and the potential for success will be much higher than before.

3. Under-promise, Over-deliver

Whether you are setting time-frames for growing into a new market segment, setting budgets for next year or just responding to a sales call its critical to ‘under-promise’ and ‘over-deliver’ in the time frames, figures or parameters being suggested. As this is far from the norm in the current high-paced business environment having this as a fundamental ‘theme’ will greatly assist with higher customer satisfaction and keeping stakeholders satisfied.