Competition is the most resounding word in the business world today. It commands a lot of action and moment in our busy world today, if an entrepreneur chooses to ignore it, his business takes a nose-dive down the business life cycle slope.
You want to watch out for this negligence and be up on your toes always, just like tech lovers await new tech models, then you have to possess certain traits as an entrepreneur as well as put specific structures in place.
Personality Traits That Sustains Business
1. Critical thinking.
When you question assumptions, claims, and viewpoints instead of just accepting them as gospel, as in “A Harvard professor said it online, so it must be true,” welcome my friend, you are thinking critically. This fundamental to smart decision making. And that, in turn, is key to being successful at just about anything.
Question everything, especially common doctrine. Listen to those who challenge your own and popularly held beliefs. Resist the pressure to view things in black and white or “us vs. them” terms. Learn to see the world in shades of grey and from different angles, viewpoints, and perspectives.
2. Focus and discipline.
Focus and discipline are always critical to success, but managing distraction has become increasingly hard. Now, more than ever, you have to learn how to shut out the noise without shutting yourself off from what really matters.
This is also not easy, but if ‘you’re too distracted and indisciplined to focus on what is critical, you ‘can’t get things done. And if you ‘can’t get things done, somebody else will.
3. Being human.
Sadly, we have become carefully constructed avatars that reflect social norms, popular themes, and wishful thinking. The information we share is filtered. Many things that pertain to us are getting unreal.
Successful businesses, however, are built on real communication and real relationships. Running a business is about motivating investors to provide capital, customers to buy products, and employees to work their tails off for you. Every business transaction ultimately has a human being at both ends.
Even as businesses are taking themselves out to the online space, those who strive to remain unique individuals will have a significant advantage. Instead of hiding behind your social media avatar and personal brand, dare to be your genuine self. Rest your social network a bit and build relationships in the real world. Listen to what people have to say and trust your instincts.
4. Getting things done.
Too much talking and visualization have never gotten the job done. Highly accomplished executives did not reach that height by merely walking around with their heads in the clouds. They got there by putting one foot in front of the other and getting the job done.
Grow the ability to focus and motivate people to work together toward a common goal, as well as a strong sense of personal responsibility, accountability, and work ethic.
You should know what your goals and priorities are— know what you want to get done, and do precisely that. Deliver the goods, get the job done, and satisfy the needs of your stakeholders, no matter what.
5. Competitive spirit.
New competitors are arising on every front as technology lowers the barriers to entry, and more and more companies cross over into each ‘other’s lanes. Meanwhile, ‘we’re de-emphasizing competitive spirit and individual achievement in our schools. ‘We’re beginning to see competition as a bad thing.
This creates an exciting competition gap and presents us with both challenge and opportunity. Challenge in that competition is brutal. Opportunity in that if ‘you’re highly driven to compete and win, you’re setting a pace that is going to widen over time.
Market share is somewhat constrained and while markets are elastic—they grow over time—at a macro level, at a micro level, every business transaction generally has one winner and multiple losers. Only one business wins the contract. Just one company is selected to provide the necessary service. In a very real sense, you’re always competing in the real world.
But that ‘doesn’t mean it is a bad thing.
The point is, many, if not most great companies, are founded and led by fierce competitors. Google aggressively pursued Apple into the smartphone business. ‘Uber’s Travis Kalanick takes a lot of heat for his competitiveness, but in just five years, ‘he’s built a company ‘that’s now valued at $41 billion.
Surprisingly, acquiring the above-listed traits usually isn’t enough to set your business high above others. No, several technicalities involving your brand, your culture, and service comes into play.
Let us look at some of the things that should be put in place to boost your competitive advantage.
1. Provide an Unforgettable Customer Service Experience.
Treat your customers like kings, even if you are not in the service industry. The belief that customer service only matters in the service industry is a myth. All customers have an expectation of excellent service and will not put up with waiting in long lines or receiving inadequate responses from representatives.
Around 75% of customers state that they consider customer service a true test of a ‘company’s competence. Reputable companies with excellent customer service include Amazon and Hyundai. But even small companies seem to be doing much better in this area, as they have discovered the loyalty-generating power of exceptional customer support.
2. Admit Mistakes and Fix Problems to Build Stronger Relationships.
Customers equate experience with brands. If they have even one bad experience that remains unresolved, they will write off the brand. And negative feedback spreads like wildfire through social media and word of mouth. You need to be on top of your game to improve the customer experience, sometimes by going far out of your way.
Always try to accept your mistakes, whether they are your fault or not. Customers prefer businesses that own up to their mistakes and take steps to correct them.
In reality, customer relationships can actually be stronger after a problem than before, if handled well by your people.
3. Be Honest About Your Products and Services.
Never say what you can’t do. Customers remember. ‘Can’t deliver by the due date? Call and let your buyers know. One of your field reps messed up on a bid? Immediately have a tough conversation with your client. Lying to customers is like shooting yourself in the foot. If your customers catch you lying, they will lose faith in you and may even spread negative feedback about your business.
One common form of dishonesty in business is failing to share bad news. In reality, the faster you share bad news, the more your customers will respect you. Just make sure you follow up with solutions
4. Come Up with Something New.
There is no lack of invention in the business world. It is the lifeblood of many businesses. Continue to reinvent your company by adopting emerging technologies and introducing new processes, products and solutions. Make use of social media and mobile apps as a growing number of buyers prefer to find and work with you through their phones.
There have been many examples of people coming up with unique ideas that have made a lasting impression, such as a real Santa Claus in Birmingham. All of these attention-grabbers help businesses stand out from the crowd; however, to be effective, the underlying product or service must be at least up to par.
5. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility.
This is the public face of a corporate body. While some may argue that a ‘company’s primary responsibility is to take care of its core stakeholders such as customers, employees and owners, experts believe that businesses should give back to society as well.
Look at Microsoft. It has excellent CSR programs that not only help society but also keep the corporate giant in the news.
CSR programs help businesses stay in ‘customers’ minds, improve goodwill, and often bring in more revenue.
Do all these and your days in the business world won’t be numbered.