The only way to stay ahead of the game – to truly have a thriving business – is to always keep your eye on your competition. You have to continually research your competition, find new and innovative ways to stay on the “cutting edge”, continually review your products and services, and make sure you can deliver.So how can you do all this and run your business at the same time? This article will give you ideas you can start using in your business today!

The best way to stay ahead of your competition is to keep your eye on them. You may be thinking that I already said that. You’d be correct. But it bears repeating. If you don’t keep track of your competition you’re setting yourself up for some problems down the road. So how can you track your competition? There are several ways. You can set up Google alerts on the Internet. You’ll receive a daily email with links to sites that mention or are published by your competition. You can also read journals, newspapers and business magazines in your industry. Often you’ll find very valuable information contained in them. Be sure to monitor business television programs, radio and podcasts if those are appropriate tools in your industry. So, essentially, the best ideas on how to stay ahead of the competition include continually researching your competition.

You’ll also need to find new and innovative ideas to stay on the “cutting edge”. You’ll need to continually update and enhance your products and services with the latest technology. If you don’t and your competition does, you’ll quickly be left in the dust. A great way to track what’s new in your industry is again by reading trade journals and watching business television shows or listening to business broadcasts. It all depends on your industry.

Not only do you need to stay on the cutting edge of technology and other advances, you must also keep current with what your clients are looking for. Continual reviews of your company’s products and services are critical to meeting your clients’ needs. If you’re not providing what your customers are looking for, they will go to someone who is. The key to repeat business is continually meeting your clients’ changing needs, effortlessly. This is largely customer service and is one of the keys to creating and maintaining a thriving business.

Don’t mislead your clients though. So many products and services overuse words such as “new and improved” and “enhanced” – make sure what you are promising you can deliver. Your reputation is on the line. Over-promising and under-delivering can be very detrimental to your business growth. In fact, your business may not survive if word-of-mouth is the primary source of your client contacts or leads. Reputation is another one of the keys to a thriving business. It’s like trying to grow a plant without water – it’s just not possible. They must have water to survive and to thrive. You must have a fantastic reputation to attract clients and succeed in obtaining the ever-important repeat business.

Staying ahead of the game is not as hard as it may seem. A careful plan – actually it should be part of your business plan – outlining how you will track your competition, how you will develop new and innovative ideas, what will allow you to stay on the cutting edge, and meet ever-changing customer needs will all be critical to creating a successful thriving business.

Of course the best part … if this all seems overwhelming a Virtual Assistant is the perfect person to assist you in doing all the things that are necessary to both give you the “edge” and assist you in creating your thriving business and staying one step ahead of your competition!!

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