Tired of reading, then listen.
In the first part of this article, I shared two reasons why differentiating your business from the rest is imperative to your success as an entrepreneur. There, I shared the importance of Creating Value and Easy Recognition. If you haven’t read that yet, click here to be redirected to the first article, that way you understand the full context of distinguishing your business from the rest.
In this article, we shall be discussing the other two reasons why you must differentiate your business from your competitors’.
One obsession that keeps entrepreneurs 100% focused on their products or services is the zeal for dominance. You want to be at the top of the chain to determine the pace of the market. You do everything possible to place your business up high until it becomes the benchmark for other businesses to make very critical decisions affecting the development of their own businesses such as pricing, expansion, diversification and so many others factors. This is only possible by differentiating your business.
This is not a challenge to beat others to a prize, but rather, it’s a challenge to stand out as a worthy leader ready to make firsthand analysis and implementation to the unforeseen needs of the consumers. To be recognized as a leader already explains your impeccable business acumen which can be sited as an example or a path for business growth and development.
Every business is determined to be at the top, but not every business will eventually. Finding a system that works for you as an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean that system is the best for the kind of business you’re running. This is why managers, directors and executives are highly paid for creating a system that delivers and makes the company a dominating figure in the market.
Out of my ignorance while in college, I initially assumed every noodle I ate was Indomie. Whenever I went out to make a purchase for noodle, I never asked nor checked for the name written on it. I always asked for Indomie thinking there was a single type of noodle in the market. I came out of my ignorance on the day my friend brought to my notice that there were different types of noodles in the market, though this was after we had a lengthy argument with my stand that they are called Indomie not noodles.
He mentioned about two other names and I refused to accept, stating he was wrong and that those were types of Indomie. We finally went out to purchase these other types of noodles. On getting there, I was so eager to put him to shame, so I quickly requested the shop owner to bring me Indomie and as I would have expected, I was given Indomie. Immediately, I turned to my friend, looking at him with a funny eye and a mockery smile just so I don’t create a scene in front of the shop owner. To my surprise, he smiled back saying to the woman “please change the Indomie to Honeywell, I don’t eat Indomie”. “Okay!!!” The shop owner said.
I became curious, standing and awaiting my disappointment. Right in my face I saw the difference while the swap was made because I held the noodle. That was the day I became aware that Indomie was a type of noodle and not the general name for all noodles. There were other products that once dominated their markets such as Maclean, which at the time even the new types of toothpaste were called Maclean by the public. Another example to sight was in the seasoning product market. I grew up classifying other seasoning products under the name Maggi. When differentiating your business, do so by acknowledging the strength and weaknesses of your competitors, that way you thrive to be the best by adopting the swot analysis
Indomie has built a formidable dominance in the noodle industry, and made it very difficult for other noodles to take leadership. There are the factors of marketing, value, consistency, customer relationship etc., which are all propelling the company to remain high above other standards. Though it’s a competitive market, Indomie as a company has placed themselves above the competition level, which gives them the monopolistic power to dominate the market.
SURVIVAL AND GROWTH
A common characteristic every living thing thrive for is survival. To grow, survival is vital and growth will only be possible when properly nurtured. Survival is the means to an end for growth. Growth can come in various forms, it could come slow or fast but at the end, the question of your growth depends solely on how well you survive. Most businesses are managed to survive. So, you have a chance to grow, by differentiating your business from the rest.
When a business is started, it could either be started with a very reasonable amount of capital or the business could be starting small. Financial strength is a key factor to the growth of a business. The moment a business is declared bankrupt, it means the business has had its last breath and will eventually die if not immediately. Such a business can only be saved by a miraculous financial investment that will help resurrect the business from an anticipated funeral.
Survival is a circular process that if maintained, existence is guaranteed for as long as possible. Unlike survival, growth is a circular process that if positively upgraded will result to a positive change. Your business can survive but doesn’t necessarily mean its growing. I have come across businesses that have had a repeated increase or decrease (almost fixed) in revenue for over 5 – 7 years with no expansions, seemed like the new consumers were replacing the old ones and there were no plans for expansion. Such businesses are surviving but not growing.
How the revenue is reinvested into the business to ensure its products or services are consistently available for the consumers’ use is important to survive. The engine behind the circle of growth is dependent upon the cash flow of the business. Every business has its financial structure that determines how much of the revenue is reinvested to promote its growth.
Every business needs to grow in order to offer more value, to reach out to more consumers, to generate more revenue, to accommodate more employees, to build more branches and so many other positives. There is a position you build your business to and you are not worried about just surviving but rather, brainstorming on the possible developments that used in differentiating your business from the rest of the competitors in your industry.
Relatively to human growth, your business can grow just as you’ve envisioned it if you work according to prescribed management. I have seen persons who managed their body weights and changed from fat to slim and vise-versa through prescribed dieting from a nutritionist. Likewise, your business Financial Adviser or Chief Financial Officer is your company nutritionist. A combination of what you invest in and how much you reinvest in your business determines how fast and how well your business will grow.
Though the financial structure determines survival and growth of the business, but neither survival nor growth will be the order of the day if your business does not provide any means of critical value for your consumers. It’s the value of your product or service that attracts the interest of your potential consumers which in order words, defines the scope of your business expansion.
There are several companies that have existed over a century and still doing extremely well due to global recognition because they chose to grow. Some are doing well just after a few decades and years since entering the market, coming to supersede some other older companies and emerging as a leading company to reckon with. You look at the history of Google, Apple, Amazon, Dangote Group, Facebook, Zara and the only reaction you have to show is an extreme amusement and an unending inspiration that develops within you to push through every obstacles. These companies were not built on the foundation of survival, they were built on a foundation of growth.