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Top tips on how a business can beat their competition

The process of trying to increase your market share is a continuous one. You can, and should never stop trying to win new customers and build your business. After all, your competitors are probably trying to win your customers right now.

1. Stay relevant through innovation.
One great way to gain market share is to spot new trends ahead of competitors. Listen carefully when you're chatting with friends, talking with colleagues or even watching the news. Think about how new technology might change your industry.

2. Respond to customers fast.
Leaving a voicemail or sending an email saying you will get back to their query within 24 hours, is no longer good enough. Customers want real-time customer support, and are more likely to stay loyal to a company that can fix their issues right now. Look at your competitors and investigate how they respond, how long it takes them to respond - and then be faster - customers will notice.

3. Use customers' or staff ideas.
Have a channel for customer ideas, ask them how you can improve on what you already do, keep a record of enquiries for services/goods you don’t offer at present. Involve members of staff, simple things like a suggestion box, you never know one of them might be your next big product or service.

4. Snap up competitors.
Sometimes the easiest way to get more customers is to simply buy them. Watch for competitors that might be up for sale and purchase their customer lists. Use systems like Red Flag Alert where why you can monitor your competitors and their finical health.

5. Be more flexible.
Are your competitors still expecting workers to warm a chair from 9 to 5 in their office every weekday? You could steal their best people by simply offering more flexibility in how and where people work.

Growth involves time and commitment, but managed well and it is achievable for all SMEs. It will not happen overnight but every large business started somewhere.

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