Coping with global competition

Like it or not if you have not prepared for competition on a global scale then you are not far away from a rude shock that can affect the viability of your business/job at any time. Its no longer your co-worker or the shop next door thats competing with you. The rules of the game have changed and are still changing as more people signup to the idea of utilizing global resources for their business.

SInce everyone has by now realized that its not something that can be wished away – how do you cope with it?

1. Focus on core competencies
Core competencies are the unique skills/products that you can deliver at the best value. Remember its the “best value” and not the “cheapest value”.

2. Branding
As competition becomes global it becomes more important to uniquely identify your firm from the others. An easy to remember logo, a cool slogan and the image of an efficient enterprise that is socially aware of the issues that your customers face can be a great help in fending off competitors and consolidating your territory. Moreover, its a great way to hold on your on against the cheap “no name brand” competition.

3. Business Efficiency
As margins are being cut due to competition don’t forget to look into your own business practices to see where you can cut the fat. Look for ways to innovate. Track all costs no matter how small and see what can be reduced by being careful and by introducing technology to help you.

4. Outsourcing
Use intelligent outsourcing to help you focus on your core business. Routine and repetitive tasks are best left to someone else. So are tasks that someone else can do for you at a lower cost without compromising your business goals.

5. Collaborate
Network with others in your industry to see if you can find ways to help fight off the competition. Look for ways to combine your skills with someone else to see if you can come up with synergies. Remember that with the right planning and approach 1+1 can also end up being 11.

6. Rinse and Repeat
This sentence occasionally found on the usage instructions of shampoos is actually a great way of conducting business. Never be 100% satisfied with what you have and what you are doing. I am not stating a entrepreneur should be a thankless idiot. As a business owner/manager you should always celebrate at your successes(no matter how small they seem to be) and put a brave face to you failures. But never let your mind sit idle. Continue to look at ways of reducing costs and improving your business. Maybe you can negotiate a better deal with you suppliers, maybe a small perk to you employees can result in better employee morale and lower turnovers.

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