While we certainly can’t create demand, or for that matter the market, we can position ourselves for the future in a beneficial manner. Positioning yourself and your business is always an ongoing process and something that is critical to future success, but it is even more imperative in these challenging and ever changing times. Positioning yourself for success and placing yourself ahead of the competition comes with a lot of hard work and preparation and now is the time to take on that challenge. The key to this is two pronged; relying on both in-depth knowledge of what is happening in the market and with your competition and the other with how you and your company are aligned to meet these challenges.
Let’s first tackle looking at being prepared by knowing the market, how your competition works and what it will take to successfully gain more market share.
- Network: Yes we all do it, but who does it successfully? We all know who is effective in our industry at achieving this, yet most of us ignore it because we’re inept, afraid, or simply lazy. The successful individuals who excel at networking have a plan. Even though I’m the first person to say networking could be having a cocktail with your buddies, it must be more than that. Network locally, regionally and nationally. We all have associations in these areas and we need to make a concerted effort to continuously reach out and make sure we are in tune with what’s going on and to make sure that others know that we are in touch with our marketplace. Not only should we network with our peers, but also with key clients; understand their business issues and what they see as possible hurdles and goals on a continual basis.
- Read as much as you can get your hands on to understand demographic, economic and political forces that will affect you and your clients.
- Understand your marketplace. Our markets are forever changing and having the pulse of those changes will enable you to create the circumstance to take advantage of those changes.
- Look at alternative ways to better the way you do business. Just because it’s not the norm in one industry doesn’t mean that another industry hasn’t come up with a better mouse trap that can be utilized to the benefit of yours.
- Make goals, examine your mission statements and set strategies that will enable your success.
- Set benchmarks that you will be able to compare to throughout the year. Evaluate those benchmarks quarterly and address successes and failures.
- Share the information with your team and make sure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals. Empowering your team will make everyone feel like they are part of what needs to occur for success.