The current scenario is full of business opportunities; it is a matter of knowing how to see them in time and develop a plan to materialize them. This process is generally linked to business competitiveness, which is nothing other than any company’s ability to compete for niches in a given market.
What is business competitiveness?
Business competitiveness is a term that refers to the ability of a business to produce and sell products/services that meet the quality of the markets, at the same or lower prices, and maximizing the returns on the resources consumed to produce them.
A competitive company would have a verifiable superiority in economic performance and could grow faster over time. To learn what exactly attributes to a company being competitive, we reached out to Hady Wehbe, a social entrepreneur whose beachfront restaurant in Senegal continues to draw a staggering number of footfalls. Sharky’s restaurant is a project that is close to him because it exemplifies core values of social entrepreneurship by employing more than 90% of the local Senegalese community at the restaurant.
Wehbe leads on job creation in the region, and also founded 11 Players, a business which provided tens of thousands of young and energetic kids with a safe sports complex place to play football. Wehbe’s 11 Players venture is another business geared towards a greater social cause.
As an entrepreneur, he has always channeled his focus on competitiveness, which has significantly helped his business ventures rise to the top.
Business competitiveness is related to organizational effectiveness and its ability to meet the performance development requirements set. It also has to do with policies and factors integrated into innovation and entrepreneurship networks, capable of determining the business’s level of productivity, its potential to generate value, its potential for job creation, and the return on investment of its strategies.
This is a complex definition because there are many ways to compete. Product prices are just one of the many current strategies; We can also talk about production costs, the level of workers’ training, the updating of computer systems, technology, the capacity for innovation or infrastructure, among other factors.
What is clear is that any business competitiveness strategy involves improving the control of daily operations in a company and the management of external elements that are part of the context.
What factors affect business competitiveness?
From its Corporate Social Responsibility policies to the precision of its planning, many factors affect business competitiveness.
“The capital of talent, the work environment, the employer brand, networks and efficiency of communications, market positioning strategies for products and services, financial stability, the performance of the business compared to its competitors or factors in the political, social, and financial environment are some of the most notable,” shares Wehbe from his experience.
Strategies to increase business competitiveness: examples
Hady Wehbe draws fundamental analysis on the principle strategies for increasing business competitiveness. He argues that the objective that any company pursues when promoting a business competitiveness strategy is to be better prepared for the market’s challenges in which it operates and to advance positions in it.
Competitiveness means strength, the viability of projects, adequate financing, stability, right work environment, innovation, and added value in the offer, projection, updating of objectives, and of course, more effective products and services.
Strategies that you must implement to improve the competitiveness of your company
There are many areas in which companies can try to improve their competitiveness. By improving competitiveness, we can obtain greater profitability, strengthen and consolidate our brand for the future, grow and expand to other markets, and generate confidence in our target audience.
1. Increase customer satisfaction
We live in an increasingly personalized environment, and in which it is also increasingly more comfortable to collect customer information. We also have more communication channels to manage our contacts and customer lists. In this sense, CRM tools have become one of the vital strategic instruments to increase customer satisfaction.
What is the reaction of our customers when buying a product? What image do you have of our brand? What do they associate us with? How is our after-sales service? What are the main complaints of our clients when they are not satisfied? Working in this area is essential to solve its defects and position itself as a business that satisfies its buyers.
2. Optimize work processes
In other words, invest in productivity. But productivity is not doing more but with less quality, but creating procedures and coordinating work teams to achieve objectives. What is not measured is very difficult to improve. Hence, many large companies rely on tools such as presence control and human resources management.
At all levels, however, it is possible to measure, control, monitor, and improve work processes. But first, you have to know them, determine them, and find a way to avoid problems such as presenteeism, absenteeism, and dispersion when each employee performs their tasks.
3. Seeks innovation and development of new products
Many companies depend solely and exclusively on products from suppliers; they do not develop products. In this sense, innovation seems a field reserved for companies committed to manufacturing their products or covering all the traceability phases of a product.
In any case, a company that wants to be competitive has to be innovative. And innovation goes through a deep understanding of your customers’ needs, an exhaustive and constant investigation of your products, and adequate investment in their improvement and management, as well as in the design and creation of new ones in an environment changing and in which new needs continually arise.
4. Internationalize or expand
If your company wants to be competitive, another key that you must consider is internationalizing or expanding. Not all companies go out to sell abroad, but today the possibilities are much more attractive in many sectors thanks to the possibilities that the Internet and electronic commerce open to you.
To be competitive, you must replicate your business model once you have managed to consolidate it and export it to other markets, bearing in mind that you should look for similarities and consider that sometimes there may be differences (cultural, legal, etc.) that can make the process more difficult internationalization.
5. Optimize costs
And last but not least, it is essential that your company can reduce costs and try to do more with less. The more liquidity and profitability you can get from the business activities you are doing, the better it will generally be for your business. We do not mean that reducing costs is always the solution; the point is to reduce unnecessary costs, automate as many things as possible, and obtain competitive advantages from the use of technology. For example, many companies are already seeing the benefits of digitization and using cloud management programs to reduce costs in maintenance costs and acquisition of software licenses or training programs for those responsible for managing business software. And not only that but the use of ERP software is also helping small and medium-sized companies to optimize decision-making, achieving much more effective results and being able to learn from their mistakes.