According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who published a report recently, the number of businesses in the UK (be that sole trader, partnership or limited company) rose by 23% to 5.5 million since 2010. That's a huge amount of potential competition
"So what can we do about it?"
Well, being the best at what we do is a great start, so do make sure you keep up to date with what's happening in your industry and look into new developments, systems and procedures. Remember, always be learning and you'll always be moving forward.
If you systemise what you do so it's easy to repeat in the same way, over and over then you're onto a winner. Any procedure can be systemised and although the actual 'what you do' may need some flexibility, the way you do it can be the same again and again.
Ensure you have a consistent brand. Your logo must hold your values and those values must be reflected across all of your marketing materials. From business cards to your website and from your blog to your social media and email marketing, good solid branding that shows who you are, what you do, and why, will always be a winner.
Here's something not to do. Don't discount your products and services just to match your competition. If you do, you're going to eat into your profits and that's worse than not getting the deal because you're doing all the work for little or no gain. Is there anyway you can add value instead?
Get out there and meet people. For small businesses, go networking a couple of times a week and you'll start building authority in your groups so they'll recommend you when one of their contacts needs what you can offer. Larger businesses can elect a member of their team to network or you could look at trade shows and exhibitions that can cost more, but give you the opportunity to meet a lot of people.
And finally, for today, delegate as much as you possibly can. This becomes quite easy if you have a streamlined, systemised business. And if you have no-one to delegate too, then outsource instead. Removing all those things from your day that you don't like to do or aren't particularly skilled at is really going to free up your time for the important stuff!
"How can The Office Genie help you get an edge over your competition?"
Well, we offer two core services to our clients. Firstly, we're expert call handlers so you get every single call answered, even when your busy, driving or in a meeting and we'll email/text you the details.
And if you need more than that, our Virtual Assistance services can enter enquiries into your CMS, send out marketing materials for you, run mailshots, answer questions about your products and services and even take orders for you if you'd like.
"Would you like to know more?"
We hope that the tips above will help you think about your business and how to get an edge over your competitors. It is a challenging world out there so if you'd like to find out more about our call handling and virtual assistance services, call us on 01604 529170 and you can hear us in action.
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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