Table of Contents
How to Keep Ahead of Your Competitors in Your Specific Industry
From keeping customers happy to adjusting based on client feedback, here are 17 answers to the question, “How would you advise staying ahead of your competitors in your specific industry?”
- Provide Great Customer Service
- Invest in Market Research
- Conduct a SWOT Analysis
- Follow the 80/20 Rule
- Focus on Repeat Customers
- Explore the Trickle-Down Effect of Technology
- Continue to be Informed About Changes
- Stay Curious and Experiment
- Provide Free Consultations
- Conduct a Content Gap Analysis
- Aim for Innovation
- Keep Up With Industry Trends
- Read Customer Reviews
- Use Google Trends to Spot Emerging Topics
- Build a Strong Network
- Speak to Providers With Adjacent Products
- Balance Customer Feedback
Provide Great Customer Service
I have learned over the years that great customer service is the most important part of having a happy customer and keeping in business. We have been working hard to make sure that our customers get updated on the progress of their orders and, if they have a question, they can call us and know they’ll get answers.
We hear all the time that they tried to call another company about their question and no one got back to them. I have found that, even if there is going to be an issue with an order, if you contact the customer and keep them updated on the progress, they will be happy and willing to work with you in the future.
When things get busy, a lot of companies let their customer service slack, and it’s a great time to stay ahead of your competition and have great customer service.
Evan McCarthy, President and CEO, Sporting Smiles
Invest in Market Research
One of the most tried, tested, and accurate ways to stay ahead of the game in any industry is ongoing market research. Most companies use market research extensively when launching their brands or products, but it’s one of those tools that can come in handy at any stage.
It gives you in-depth information about what’s working and what’s not in communication strategy, marketing, packaging, product range, and more.
It also gives you predictive data that you can deploy to stay ahead of your competition and at the top of the list as your audience’s favorite.
Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis gives you a full picture of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats each competitor presents.
Once you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you can strategize ways to minimize their weaknesses and maximize their strengths. You can then develop a plan to take advantage of any opportunities that may present themselves and to mitigate any threats that may come from competing against these companies.
By conducting a thorough SWOT analysis of your competitors, you can better position yourself to stay ahead of the game and to keep yourself on track toward achieving your goals.
Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely
Follow the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule holds that roughly 80% of our business outcomes result from just 20% of our activities or business inputs. As an example, 80% of our sales come from just 20% of our clients. Or 80% of a project turns on just 20% of the stakeholders.
You get the idea. A small, vital few inputs handle a majority of our business success. We need to focus our efforts on those vital inputs to maximize gains and growth. Allow your competitors to get swept up in the day-to-day of their operations, and spend valuable resources on inputs that don’t matter.
If you can zero in on the inputs that matter most to your business success and exploit those with maximum effort, you’ll always be ahead of the competition in your space.
John Ross, CEO, Test Prep Insight
Focus on Repeat Customers
My best advice for staying ahead of your competitors in your specific industry is to focus on repeat customers. Creating a loyal customer base is one of the most effective ways to ensure your long-term success in any industry.
A great way to do this is by offering incentives such as discounts, loyalty rewards programs, and personalized customer service. Taking the time to build relationships with customers will help you generate higher revenue from repeat purchases and create brand advocates who will spread the word about your business.
Investing in customer feedback systems and staying on top of trends can help you stay ahead of the competition by understanding customer preferences and responding proactively to changes in the industry.
Amira Irfan, Founder and CEO, A Self Guru
Explore the Trickle-down Effect of Technology
Technology has the power to revolutionize industries and help companies get ahead. The key lies in knowing how to apply a specific technology to your own business. For instance, ChatGPT is a hot topic right now. Its benefits can span multiple use cases, including content writing, customer service chatbots, and even book writing.
This opens up a myriad of opportunities across industries and roles: e-commerce companies can use it to create better product descriptions; educators can generate content for courses; developers can check their codes to maximize efficiency; sales teams can support lead nurturing with human-like email follow-ups and sales enablement content.
We haven’t limited this idea to ChatGPT either. It’s about knowing what technology is out there and then exploring how to apply it to your own advantage. It’s not always obvious; keep asking questions, experimenting, and learning.
Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance
Continue to be Informed About Changes
I understand the importance of continuously educating myself and staying up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. The digital marketing industry constantly changes, so staying informed about the latest strategies, tactics, and technologies will help me capitalize on emerging trends and outperform my competition.
I attend industry conferences, read publications and blogs, network with professionals, and take part in online communities to stay informed. I also regularly test and optimize my digital marketing campaigns to identify what works best for my business.
I know that success in digital marketing requires ongoing learning and a willingness to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer behaviors to achieve sustained success.
Shane McEvoy, MD, Flycast Media
Stay Curious and Experiment
The one tip that I have found useful in my career is to challenge yourself to be creative and constantly embrace new technologies and trends.
The secret to staying ahead of the competition is to always have a curious mind and a willingness to experiment. In the world of web development, new technologies and platforms are emerging all the time.
By staying up-to-date with the latest developments and experimenting with new tools and techniques, you can gain a competitive edge and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry.
It’s important to have a deep understanding of your target audience and the business goals of your clients. By focusing on the needs of your customers and delivering solutions that solve genuine problems, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and build a reputation for excellence.
Alan Carr, Director, Webpop Design
Provide Free Consultations
Nothing says you care about your customers’ needs more than sitting down with them and taking the time to understand what they are looking for.
Taking this extra step shows customers you are an experienced pro and it will help establish yourself as the preferred choice in your competition.
Not only that, but it gives potential customers a taste of the type of quality service you can provide at no charge. Give free consultations and watch as your business continues to grow.
Ludovic Chung-Sao, Lead Engineer and Founder, Zen Soundproof
Conduct a Content Gap Analysis
Conducting a content gap analysis is an effective way to gain a competitive advantage and grow your business. The process involves analyzing your competitors’ online presence, including their websites, blogs, and social media pages, to determine the content they produce and how it performs.
By identifying gaps in the content offered by your competition, you can create unique, valuable content to fill those gaps and differentiate your business.
This can help you attract more leads, increase sales, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Updating existing content, rather than creating new content from scratch, can help you optimize your resources and time.
Burak Özdemir, Founder, Online Alarm Kur
Aim for Innovation
Artificial intelligence has transformed the inner workings of entire industries overnight. And the one thing that has helped this niche tower over the others is also what drives the competition within—innovation.
Irrespective of the mind-blowing innovation that AI brands present to an audience, there’s even more that we develop, test, and experiment with behind the scenes. The aim is to seek a new direction, add new solutions, and, ultimately, innovate.
When it is successful and timely, this innovation helps us surge ahead of the competition and even raise the bar within the industry. A trend that will remain synonymous with AI, innovation is indeed the only yardstick with which every industry player can measure the distance between their brand and the competition.
Brendan McGreevy, Head of Strategy, Affinda
Keep Up With Industry Trends
The public cloud space is a highly competitive, quickly evolving industry that is always introducing new services, tools, and features. Keeping up with trends ensures that we have the latest information and are always ready to respond to customer needs.
From infrastructure and security to cost optimization, staying ahead of the competition means understanding new trends and how they can benefit our customers. We keep tabs on the most influential industry trends; we do this by actively engaging with the community and attending cloud conferences and events.
We also have a comprehensive understanding of the underlying technologies so that we can provide the best advice and solutions for our customers. Finally, we listen to customers; they are the greatest source of information and knowledge.
By understanding their needs and challenges, we can innovate and create solutions that are truly tailored to their needs.
Karl Robinson, CEO, Logicata
Read Customer Reviews
I read every customer review and ask for feedback to focus all our attention on quality because customer feedback provides valuable insights into what our customers want and need.
By actively seeking and paying attention to customer reviews and feedback, I can identify areas for improvement and change to enhance the quality of our offerings.
By focusing on quality, you can differentiate your products or services from those of your competitors and build a stronger brand reputation. Customers are more likely to choose and recommend a company that offers high-quality products and excellent customer service.
This approach can help you identify areas for improvement, differentiate your products or services from those of your competitors, stay in touch with the latest trends and customer preferences, build trust and loyalty with your customers, and ultimately drive growth and success for your business.
Marc Werner, CEO and Founder, GhostBed
Use Google Trends to Spot Emerging Topics
Using Google Trends is an excellent piece of advice for staying ahead of competitors in any industry. By monitoring search trends, you can spot emerging topics, products, and services that are gaining traction with customers.
Google Trends allows you to see how search volumes for particular keywords and phrases change over time, as well as how they compare to other keywords and phrases. This can help you identify gaps in the market and new opportunities to differentiate yourself from competitors.
For example, you might notice that there’s a sudden spike in searches for a particular product or service that you offer, showing increased demand. Or, you might see that a particular keyword or phrase is gaining traction in your industry, signaling a new trend that you can capitalize on.
By leveraging Google Trends in this way, you can stay ahead of your competitors and position your business for long-term success.
Derek Bruce, Senior Director, Newcastle First Aid Courses
Build a Strong Network
One of the most effective strategies for gaining a competitive edge in your industry is to network and build strong relationships with other professionals.
Networking allows you to stay up-to-date on industry trends and news, giving you the edge to spot opportunities earlier than your competitors.
By expanding your network, you can gain valuable insights into what strategies are working for others, as well as develop partnerships that may be beneficial in terms of resources or referrals. Additional benefits of networking include staying up-to-date on industry trends and news, which may present you with access to opportunities earlier than your competitors.
Jeff Pollak, Partner, RadioActive Media
Speak to Providers With Adjacent Products
Trying to get information directly from your competitors is like drawing blood from a stone; it will not happen. However, in every market, there are providers who offer products and services to your chosen market but who don’t directly compete with you.
For example, if you sell HR management software, you are likely to rub shoulders with providers of video interview software, pre-employment testing, or applicant tracking software. These adjacent providers have no reason to lie or withhold information.
They are often extremely candid about their experiences with your competitors, making them valuable sources of information. So, next time you are at a conference, take some time to speak with these adjacent providers, and I assure you that their perspectives will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Oliver Savill, CEO and Founder, Assessment Day
Balance Customer Feedback
While one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition is to bring innovative ideas to your business, your creative ideas wouldn’t hold much weight unless your clients value this innovation.
It’s great to know and follow your competition to get an idea of what your market is doing, but if you want to stay ahead of everyone, you need to focus on ideas that no one has implemented yet.
Creating occasional surveys for your clients can help you understand the type of ideas they value and the ideas they wouldn’t pay for, and focus your innovation on the ones that resonate with them.
Inbar Madar, Founder and Business Consultant, MI Business Consulting