The entrepreneurial spirit nowadays has become more volatile, increasing competition more than ever. Industries are changing rapidly, technology is steadily advancing, and political and social changes are affecting the way we do business.
In short, everything is changing and we should not be left behind. So what does an entrepreneur or management team need to focus on being the first in the game?
We believe that there are three distinctive attributes that can put your company ahead of the competition : make sure that your customers experience runs smoothly, pay attention to developments within your industry, and start aligning with technologies Emerging as fast as possible.
1. Keep your customers happy
This is probably one of the most important things any company (B2B or B2C) can do. The customer has the last word. With a wide range of options to choose from in any scenario, one of the best things you can do is to make sure that your users experience is completely enjoyable. How can you achieve this? Here are some important points …
- Surprise your customers with a memorable service: Listen to your customers and give them efficient solutions. Train your team to attend to each of your customers in a special way. Remember that small details are what make your business big, so make sure that the customer service in your business really exceeds the expectations of customers.
- It offers different forms and means of payment: All customers are different, so it is important to offer different solutions (especially when we speak about payment) that can accommodate you. Checks, credit cards, and transfers should be accepted as forms of payment. Additionally, it may be useful to be able to receive payment when it is, since in today’s business environment it is everywhere.
- Always look for automation: Automation is golden for customers because everyone is busy, and everyone has to be somewhere. Then, the more ways you have to automate processes (by subtracting customer work), the more customers you will have and the more clients you will retain. It evaluates what operational tools or processes can be adopted to make the experience easier, faster, and more enjoyable.
2. Pay attention to the developments in your industry
Having knowledge of the latest trends in your industry is critical to success. Industries can change at any time and a simple fact is that those who adapt quickly remain in business, while those who continue to play the same game end up losing. Below are two excellent ways to keep up:
- Publications in the industry: Almost every industry has a system of publications or magazines. Do yourself a favor and sign up for updates. Usually these are free or have a low cost and will allow you to be aware of the latest developments that occur around you. Not only is it useful to see what your competitors are doing and so find your niche of differentiation, but also helps your team to update and stay educated when contacting a customer.
- YouTube: This platform is possibly one of the greatest unexploited resources. A simple YouTube search of your topic of interest can give you hundreds, if not thousands, of videos that may be relevant to your needs and wants. This can include industry trends and developments, interviews with senior executives, management in action, and more. It is a great resource in which you can look for additional knowledge.
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3. Do not stay behind the technological advances
Unless you are living in a cave, you know that emerging technologies are changing the way you do business, and in an accelerated way. Thus, for any company to have power and dominance in the market, it must be aligned with these technologies as soon as possible to maintain its relevance. There are several important technologies on the horizon; however, for the purposes of this article, we will focus on three:
- Internet of things: The Internet of Things has received much attention in recent times. Unless you have not heard it, the internet of things – or IoT – is the convergence of everything “smart”. What started with smartphones and tablets, now are smart coolers, smart gardens, and virtually any mundane object used in everyday life can be prepared to be “smart.” Essentially, the ultimate goal of IoT is something like a world where everything you do and everything you have, responds to your preferences. It’s an emerging technology. Many startups are now revolutionizing the world of IoT in business as well as personal lives, and it should be in the interest of each entrepreneur to creatively integrate this technology into their products or services.
- Virtual reality: This is another important emerging technology. Virtual reality – or VR – has been around for some time, however, it began to truly solidify as a more accessible technology in recent years. While the Oculus Rift is prevalent on many gaming platforms, we believe the true beauty of this lies in its business applicability. The VR is being used by medical professionals to improve therapies and reduce the need for painkillers, plus it is used for simulation training like military combat, and more. Futurists and experts believe that in a few years, common internet sites will have virtual reality presence.
- Artificial intelligence: Yes, we are all familiar with AI for fiction films and prophecies from past decades, however, we finally have it here. Of course, I’m not talking about general artificial intelligence or super artificial intelligence. I speak of a limited AI designed to learn a specific and specialized task. Artificial intelligence is now being integrated by many Silicon Valley startup within the operational automation in the business environment and could be the most powerful of all automations.
Have you implemented these keys in your business? What other key do you have in mind to stand out from the competition in your industry? Leave your comments and contributions about this topic.