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Leverage Your Strategies and Focus Your Competitive Advantage with Business Coaching

12th Dec , 2019

We live in a fast-evolving competitive world in which few businesses are unique for long, making it crucial to constantly re-focus your competitive advantage to identify or create your customer value-adding points of difference. This is essential to set yourself apart from and stay ahead of the competitive pack.

In your ongoing challenge to keep ahead, you must be mindful of the risks and pitfalls that come with increased competition and the many changes that potentially occur in your business space. As a business owner, you need to know your product or service intimately, what your customers want, and how you can deliver value to them. This is the basis for understanding, creating and focusing your competitive advantage.

The next step is to do even better.

This may seem simple, but often you can become self-absorbed in your own business environment and become blinkered. Avoiding this trap is where a well-matched business coach or mentor from International Business Mentors can help.

How Business Coaching Can Help

Your own business coach or mentor will look at you and your business from a fresh perspective and without the day-to-day pressures that you face. They also have wide and valuable business experience and can challenge you to think outside of the day-to-day priorities. They’ll support you to consider business growth strategies and other solutions to problems or opportunities that you face.

Constantly finding better ways to compete in your evolving business world requires creativity and ingenuity. You must also consider the wider business context and constraints such as your business’ ability to raise finance and produce good financial performance, and the capability and motivation of your people and your organisation to deliver on the strategies you consider. These are all areas where business coaching can assist you.

Implementing Business Growth Strategies

To succeed in delivering your business growth strategies, you will need to focus on identifying growth factors and how to implement them, which will require operational plans and developing resources, suppliers and systems to support and deliver on your strategy for growth.

Deciding on your business’ point of difference with your customers will vary depending on your specific type of business. For example, a “bricks and mortar” retail business would be very different to an online store or a different product or service business such as a law firm, manufacturer or distributer. They will also vary from businesses in other industries such as entertainment, software, health services, accounting, farming, tourism, consulting, education, charities, government bodies, etc.

Even your approach to the same customers as your competition may be quite different. For example, the competition may go for high service and higher prices, whereas you might target customers who are price sensitive and provide a no-frills service at lower prices but with higher margins, gaining cost advantage through greater volumes and a simpler offering.

Many strategic issues and ways of thinking through problems, decision-making, assessing and mitigating risks or assessing opportunities are common across industries. Many can be unique to your specific business or niche in the market. A business coach or mentor from International Business Mentors is well experienced to help you and your businesses think through how to identify and implement your strategy and decisions that are necessary to sustain and grow your competitive advantage. Your own business coach will give you access to their business approaches and experience to help you with strategy and growth.

A considerable impact on your ability to deliver on strategy is your business culture. Your business coach or mentor can help you assess your business’ culture and help you to shape that culture to better achieve your strategy by harnessing and growing your organisation’s energy and enthusiasm.

Areas Where a Business Coach or Mentor Can Help You Improve

Business mentors and coaches can help you consider many areas where you can make changes for improvement, including:

  • Alliances and partnerships
  • Analysing where the business makes money and produces positive cash flow and returns
  • Better communication with customers, suppliers, staff, shareholders and financiers
  • Brand – customers prefer to deal with a trusted and reputable organisation
  • Competitive analysis
  • Convenience – make dealing with you and your business easy
  • Cost − competition is about finding cheaper, more efficient ways of making product or delivering service (on-shore or off shore, physical or on-line)
  • Develop KPIs for each area of the business to support the strategy
  • Exit plans for shareholders
  • Financing the growth
  • Hire great people, develop and hold accountable
  • Incentives
  • Innovation – think differently
  • Loyalty programs or repeat business incentives
  • Quality – people prefer quality if it’s affordable
  • Reputational protection
  • Risk identification and management or mitigation
  • Security and IT
  • Service – good service is crucial and can make a massive difference to customers
  • Speed to market, take your market share, claim it and keep it
  • Supply chain management to reduce costs, risk and better terms of trade
  • Technology – proper use of technology enables businesses to be more efficient. Use what is relevant to your business – e.g. Social media, big data, cloud computing, business analytics, mobile technology

The Need for Successful Strategies to be Customer Focused

Despite you being happy with how the business is functioning, and the policies and practices you have put in place to stay ahead of the competition, it is your customer who ultimately decides if your competitive advantage strategy is successful. Your perception may be different to your customers. Again, a business coach or mentor from International Business Mentors can guide you in considering how to engage your customers so that you know what they value and whether they perceive that your business is delivering.

The search for new ways to innovate and stay ahead is continuous. With the help of business coaching and mentoring, you will be supported confidentially to better face the challenging strategic scenarios you will face. Act now to get the benefits and support from your own business coach or mentor by calling us on (03) 8686 9192.

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