With a rapidly changing world, more social, more open, and new ways have emerged to do business. The definition of doing business has fundamentally changed. Any business that is still sticking to its legacy ways would starve and lose market share to competition. The base of it lies in the changes in the customer behavior, customer expectation, technology evolution, regulatory complexities and competitive landscape. It is important for businesses to understand the impact of these changes and prepare accordingly. Businesses should
build strategies that are proactively mitigating the effect and preparing for the future. Else, they would be at the mercy of competition (new and old) to maintain profitability and would
eventually go bust. So adhering to this wave of change, understanding it and steering in the right direction is essential for keeping market share and businesses afloat.
In this wave of change, there are certain things that businesses could do to fundamentally change the way they approach their business processes to gain market share. Following few key areas would be great starting points.
Understand customer landscape and needs:
Focusing on the customerâs need is the most important thing to do to gain market share. With many customer focused companies like Apple, Amazon etc., keeping customers happy and satisfied is the key that differentiates them from the herd. In recent times, customersâ Â expectations/ needs have changed and companies need to constantly evaluate their methodology and align themselves to read, meet and exceed customerâs expectations. They need to setup a continuous monitoring process to analyze the customer landscape, their needs, and its impact to the business. This helps keeping businesses close to their customer, which is a mantra for success.
Be a thought leader:
Finding a niche and staying as a thought leader is another crucial step in establishing sustainable footprint in business growth. Most successful companies are the ones that are leaders in their space. Laggards will have some room to flex but it would be at the mercy of demand supply gap. It is important to find a core area and excel in it. Such companies innovate, lead and create a brand of trust and credibility with the customers. So, building thought leadership is extremely important for building a business for success.
Be the network:
It is rightly said that âone who builds the network, owns the networkâ. There is a need to facilitate open communication both within the company, with its external partners, stakeholders and other communities. Building a system that facilitates this communication is beneficial for the company and it is a win-win for everyone. It helps keep a full innovation pipeline, lets the dialog going, saves from blinders, and builds better business connections. This network could also be used as a channel for fostering numerous innovations in the company.
Learn to love data:
Data is your friend. It is impartial and insightful. Make data your friend and leverage it in all business decisions. Data brings sanctity, facts and gutless metric in decisions, thus making success more predictable and informed. As we all know, informed decisions are always better than the decisions based on hunches. Data can help a company in preparing for the future, in understanding customerâs expectation, analyzing industry trends; do predictive modeling to solve big problem questions etc. So, there are many used cases for successful use of data in current competitive landscape. A company closer to data will never find difficulty in maintaining a healthy market share.
Make partners not competitors:
It is a strong statement, but a realistic one. In todayâs economy, no one can win in isolation and especially when there are hardly any boundaries. It is important to partner to make things happen. People understand the importance of shorter cycle time and fast time to market and strategic partners and new business models can make this thing a reality. So, it is important to think of a system that has more partners than competition.
Make friends not customers:
To outdo the competition, it is required to stay close to the customers and improve retention. The best way to achieve this is to provide personal touch to products and services and make them feel special and friend like. This would enable customers to reach out to you for help/ suggestions and listening and catering to them would create strong loyalty sentiments. On the other side, customer would act as strong brand advocates, generating leads, providing references and helping your business grow. This creates a bond and has a positive multiplier effect especially in the socially connected world that we live in.
Build a platform on which other could build:
As discussed earlier, innovation could be a pillar stone for differentiation and growth. Crowdsourcing is a concept that is very well adapted and could be a gateway for numerous innovations. So, companies can open certain part of business and leave it for other the stakeholders (partners, customers) to disrupt. For instance, nowadays all the companies from Google, to Apple have opened their platforms to let others build on their platforms and disrupt the market place.