Competition in business is always a challenge. Understand, and use, the definition of strategic planning by using business and sales plan examples. And use change management tools to adapt to competitive actions.
Understanding your competition is important: whether you are starting a new business, operating an existing business, entering new markets, or launching new products and services.
Competition in business can be a major stumbling block to growth and success.
To develop a strong competitive strategy, it is necessary to conduct a competitive analysis.
One of the best methods of dealing with competitive activity is to learn how to adapt and change quickly.
Use change management tools to learn managing change techniques.
A definition of strategic planning includes an understand of markets, customers, competition, and your business capabilities. Once you have that understanding (through research), you need to build strategies to handle your competitors.
As a small business owner, you need to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with your competition (for example, you might want to include a pricing strategy; or perhaps, an alternative competitive strategy to cutting price; or a value chain analysis to assess your competition, and so on) and to operate in highly competitive markets. Even if you are the market leader today, the threat of losing that position tomorrow, or into the future, is very real if you do not have a solid plan in place.
Review sales plan examples to see how, when, where, what and why businesses change their plans to deal with competitive activity.
Writing a marketing plan includes doing a competitive analysis section. You need to assess your competition in business and try to predict what your competition might do in the case that you add new services, lower your price, raise your price, move closer to their markets, hire some of their staff, and more.
To analyze your competition, you must find out as much as you can about them: (do this for the top 3 to 10 competitors; you can analyze fewer if they hold big market shares; or analyze up to 10 if the market is buying from many).
Once you've completed a thorough competitive analysis for your marketing plan, keep it up-to-date.
Understanding your competition in business means reviewing your gathered data on your competitors try to determine what their business strategies and growth objectives are; do your competitive intelligence work regularly. Continually assess progress they might make, against your own business progress. Assess the size of the market and try to determine if it will support the competition - if not, someone will go out of business. Make sure that it's not you.
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Marketing is a requirement for all businesses: without marketing strategies and tactics your business will struggle to survive.
Not all marketing activities are planned: you might be building your brand recognition through a social media campaign (that's marketing); you might be conducting market research to analyze your competitors and/or segment and target your potential market or to develop the most desirable features, advantages and benefits of your products or services (that's all marketing).
Marketing is pretty all–encompassing; and a challenge for many business owners. The additional challenge is recognizing that the different stages of your business life–cycle: start–up, mid–cycle, mature or late–in–life.
During start–up you need to develop your marketing strategies to grow sales; for example, you might want to use a market penetration pricing strategy to build sales quickly.
During mid–cycle, you need to grow your customer base (often through lead generation) and that need requires different marketing strategies, such as cold calling on prospective clients, email marketing, newsletter and blog sign ups and distribution (all to grow your list of prospects).
During the mature cycle, you need to build your marketing efforts around your brand; your competitive advantage can be in your reputation, history, and identity and on what differentiates your business from your competitors.
Marketing your products and services is not something that you do once (such as a marketing plan) and then never change or do again. You need to be continually researching and building your strategies and tactics to be ahead of the market, and ahead of your competition.
The market is constantly evolving; ever more rapidly with the impacts of globalization and technology. You need to invest resources into marketing to ensure that you build and sustain your business.
If you need support in your marketing efforts, or if you'd like a review of your marketing plan, contact us for more information on our marketing services.
If marketing is not your core strength, or if you don't have enough staff to commit to developing your marketing efforts (and acting on the plan), outsourcing your marketing strategy and implementation will allow you to concentrate on developing your business.
Start with a marketing plan that includes the necessary research, strategy development and implementation action plan. We provide you with the plan tactics, budget, schedule and key performance measurements.
Execute the plan yourself or have us at Voice Marketing Inc. manage the execution for you.
Once the plan is implemented, we report on the actions we've taken, the performance of the tactics employed, and on the results.
You'll feel confident that your business marketing is being effectively managed and continually evolving.
We specialize in providing services to small business owners and understand that marketing efforts must be customized for each business' unique needs.