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How to stay ahead of your business competitors

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6. Do social media

Unconventional, really Social media is so 2010?. For most it’s an uncoordinated and ill thought through mess of Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our electrifying Twitter feed . This new medium is rarely done well hence its inclusion in this list. Get it right and you will gain market presence and reputation and it does not cost much. Go on, hire an 18 year old and make it work.

7. Get very close to competitors

Dance with the enemy Remember Sun Tzu know your enemy and know yourself,” then: “you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. Also “be close to your friends but closer to your enemies . You will then observe how you can take a competitive advantage early. You will also see competitors make mistakes and fail there are as a many lessons in failure as there are in success. Forget satisfaction in others failure only learn and act on it.

8. Examine how to retain existing customers better

Look at lapsed customers and how to recover them. There is always a customer churn rate but dont accept that customers cannot be brought back. They can and the cost of sales to make this happen can be very low. Everyone likes to feel loved customers too.

9. Create an internal demand for innovation ideas

The restless change early and effectively. There may be failures and failure must be tolerated otherwise no one will be willing to risk trying. Create a culture of pushing each other to perform, evolve and develop. Everyone in a company should see themselves as supplier and customer to others. If done without blame then this is a really healthy dynamic and will create innovation and growth with little effort. Beware people, who are comfortable they are not trying and not trying is not contributing.

10. Give your team the freedom to create a winning culture

To lead is to empower. Its the whole team that will make it happen and the whole team that has insight in their own domains. Let them use that insight and let them create improvements. The journey of 100 miles starts with a small step. If everyone is making that step in unison then the organisation is moving forward. Only the free culture with supportive leadership will make that happen. Its easy when you trust others and yourself.

Stephen Archer is Director of Spring Partnerships

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