The very first thing a start up does before flourishing in the marketplace is, develop a market plan! The market plan comprises of many factors, however, the most important is competitive advantage. So, what is a competitive advantage? It is basically anything that sets your business apart from another. Any firm requires a competitive advantage to make its presence felt in the business marketplace. Only then, can you differentiate your start up from other existing firms!
The significance of competitive advantage!
The start up world has been evolving with each passing day! The competition is getting intense like never before. So, how do you create superiority when compared to your rivals in the business market? Develop a brand recognition that a company either delivers quality products at a lower cost than the competitors or, offers various services at a greater value when compared to the competitors! Ensure that your products or services are better and best in terms of quality! This could create popularity among the consumers and they would spread a word which in turns makes your brand recognizable. Consumers could recognize your brand easily and prefer choosing you over others! When you establish an effective brand name, customer base becomes extremely powerful resulting, in customer loyalty. Isn’t that pretty much any firm would love to have? Having your customer come back to you over and over! Apart from this, when you establish an effective competitive advantage, you could develop the reputation of offering the best service or support in the industry which allows your company to charge more for your offering! This makes your investments in the firm all worth it, right?
Listed below are the parameters that you should consider while developing a competitive advantage for your start up!
- Quality of the product/service
For example, the famous fast food chain McDonald’s competitive advantage relies on a cost leadership strategy! Likewise, the technology giant Apple, is quite famous for its innovative products! This is how you differentiate your company from others! You discover and develop a unique strategy for your firm! However, at the end of the day, it is exceptionally important to keep a track of your firm’s growth in the marketplace! Find out what is working and what is not! With time, if something doesn’t click then work on it along with your marketing team and implement the change!
So, if you develop a great competitive advantage in the market, you could survive in the long run and become a market leader! A competitive advantage could make you or break you! In today’s competitive world, standing out from the crowd is essential! The best strategy for your company is to focus on improving the quality of your product or service so that it is universally recognized as being superior to anything else available! So, choose the path wisely in order to create a better competitive advantage for your start up!
How To Structure Your Priorities
At work, everything is at a high priority, how do you then structure your list of priorities with everything you need to accomplish. Knowing how to structure your priorities, is a key skill to have. To hit deadlines, you need to follow these steps and make your life easier, for you and your colleagues.
Write a to do list
Even though, you know everything you need to get done, it is best if you jot down everything with the deadline date. Do not worry about the order, just brain dump, small tasks as well as big tasks on to the list. From walking the dogs to finishing up a work related document that is due in two hours.
Identify what is urgent
After writing everything down, look at the things needed to be done the quickest, the work, if not done as soon as possible can have negative consequences. That work related document which is now due in an hour and fifty minutes.
Look at the leftover tasks, and identify tasks adding the most value to the company upon completion. You should be able to recognize what tasks provide you or your organisation with the most value. If there is cooking food on your list, it would be helpful to do that before embarking to do everything else on an empty stomach.
Rearrange the tasks
After identifying the work needed to be done first and the work garnering the most value when completed. It is time to rearrange the tasks requiring the most effort. The easiest way to do this is by employing a prioritisation method by Brian Tracy. It focuses on your feelings towards the task.
In the words of Mark Twain, if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing it is probably the worst thing going to happen to you all day long. With this ideology in mind, get the worst task done first.
- Things you do not want to do and you do not need to do.
- Things you do not want to do but actually, need to do.
- Things you want to do and actually need to do.
- Things you want to do and do not need to do.
Remember you only have twenty four hours in a day, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew.
Signs Your Job Is Killing You
Picture this, you walk into your work thirty minutes late because you woke up at the time you actually had to be there. You have a large cup of coffee in your hand which is your substitute for breakfast, your shirt is dishevelled. Your colleague sitting next to you gives you an over enthusiastic “GOOD MORNING” and you mumble to yourself “yeah right.”
For the rest of the day, you spend it by checking your watch every ten minutes, but the time does not pass faster. There are no new posts on Instagram and Twitter, you have already scrolled through them a million times. Every day you go for lunch ten minutes early and come back ten minutes late. You can not wait to get home, but when you are home all you are doing is being stressed about work the next day. The night is spent stress watching Netflix.
If this sounds a lot like you, I think it is time to re evaluate your job situation.
In his book, Dying for a Paycheck, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ph.D, a specialist in organizational behaviour at Stanford Business School, makes a bold statement “the workplace is killing us and nobody cares.” The Japanese have a word for death from overwork it is called “Karoshi”. In Japan over 10,000 managers, executives and engineers die annually from being overworked.
A hostile work environment is the number one cause for work related stress. One in four workers complain about their jobs being the most stressful part of their lives.
Being constantly exhausted due to work is a serious problem, it cannot be cured simply by getting a new job, Pfeffer explains. Also, finding a job is no small task. “If you are physically or psychologically drained by workplace stress, then you’re not going to have the capacity to go out and look for another job,” he says.
Even though all of this sounds grim, there are steps you can take to make your life less stressful and maintain a healthy relationship with your work.
Eating well is crucial, make sure you get in all the nutrients you need for your daily work day if your job needs more physical labour, eat accordingly. On the other hand, if your job barely involves any kind of physical movement, you need to make sure you get in some exercise before or after work. Exercise does not have to be hardcore, a light jog or some yoga can help you calm down while getting the exercise you need in.
In this world of go, go, go; people barely get any time to relax and get enough sleep. Sleep helps you rejuvenate and start fresh the next day. If you are not getting enough sleep it will make you feel lethargic the next day and therefore less productive.
It is very important for everybody to find ways they can wind down, some people read, meditate or even game. Everybody utilises different techniques to relax. It does not matter what it is, just make sure you have a way to relax.
Communication is proven to be very effective to reduce stress, you can have a meaningful conversation with your friends and family or just laugh and make jokes.
If nothing works, know when you can seek counselling and getting help from a professional.
In an interview, Pfeffer said, “I look out at the workplace and I see stress, layoffs, longer hours, work family conflict, enormous amounts of economic insecurity. I see a workplace that has become shockingly inhumane.”
There are various ways in which an employer can reduce stress in a work place environment. The employer can align workload with the capability and capacity of the workers. By making room for workers to grow and use talent in their positions, will help the employees stay creative and make them feel in control. If the workers have a say in the work they are doing, will help increase job satisfaction.
Not all work situations can be ideal, it is important to know, you have a choice, you do not have to stay in a job forever if you do not enjoy it. The opportunities are endless. Remember you always have the power to pave your own path.
How To Communicate With Clients
There is a difference between speaking and communicating with your client. It is important to communicate effectively with your client instead of just speaking at them. Here are a few steps you can follow, to better the way you communicate with your client.
Customer service is key
People will stay and return to your company because of the customer service. Manners are so important, start with what your mama taught you. The basic “hello, nice to meet you!” With a sprinkle of “please” and “thank you” throughout the conversation. Apple’s secret employee training manual was leaked a few years back, this gave us an insight as to what makes those Apple store reps so convincing. They always greet you with being warm and polite, “Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome,” and they always end on a positive note, “End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.”
Make the customers feel special by using their name in conversations, doing this little thing assures the customer, you know them and know what they want.
Ask the right questions
Do not make assumptions about what your client might want. Clearly ask about the needs and requirements of the clients. Make sure you understand their end vision. It is equally as important to know about their core values and what they represent. The main goal is to ask enough questions to know everything about the client before you actually start working on anything.
Keep it light and positive
Do not make your customers feel stupid, be conscious as to not use a condescending tone. This will discourage the clients to reach out if they need anything.
Buffer, a social media management platform, is known for their exceptional customer service. In an article on the topic, their Chief Happiness Officer, Carolyn emphasised the need for attention to detail. Carolyn pointed out the use of the terms “but” and “actually” came off as dismissive and was not helpful even if she was trying to help.
Do enough research prior to a meeting, to know what you are speaking. No matter what you’re selling no one will buy it if you do not know enough about the client or the product. When preparing for any kind of meeting it is vital to take time and go over the material beforehand. You should be well versed on the topic and have plenty of examples. Also, have a list of answers to the questions the clients might ask.
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