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Once Hot, Not Now

For a while, things were smoking at your company. The phone rang constantly. You couldn’t fill orders fast enough. You had a ‘waiting list’ of people who wanted to work for you. You were finally ‘at the top’ of your business dreams. Gradually, though, things slowed down. The phone rang less, your orders plateaued, and you are no longer considered a leader in the market. How can you retain (or regain) a top spot in your market?

Stay relevant
Often, companies become so bogged down in the day-to-day demands of the business they lose sight of the ultimate goals of the organization. While it is important (and necessary) to run the business, it is important not to ignore the bigger picture.
Many companies lose market share because they stop being relevant. They are so engrossed with doing business today they forget to plan for doing business tomorrow. The market is constantly changing. To stay on top, you must change with it. (Need an example of this? Look at the history of Kodak, who owned the camera industry, until it failed to adapt to digital photography.)
Pivot One way to stay ahead of the competition (and on top of the market) is by spotting trends before your competitors. Be aware of how new technology could change your business and pivot your company accordingly. Netflix took advantage of a changing market and effectively captured the on-demand movie market by being ready to meet the demands of consumers.
Respond to customers fast Today’s consumers are connected through the internet and expect the companies they do business with to respond quickly. The standard of returning a call within 24 hours used to be acceptable in the business market, but customers are becoming accustomed to instant responses. Want to out-perform your competitors? Find out how fast they respond to customers and be faster.
Hire well Be relentless in your pursuit of excellent employees. Hire top performers who excel at their jobs. Pay better than a competitive wage and build a thriving culture.
Happy employees perform better and are more engaged in their jobs. As a result, their companies are more successful, and they build a loyal customer base. If you want to improve your market share, evaluate your staff needs and find out if your current employees fit in the larger picture.
Invest in your employees Employees can become stuck in the routine of their daily tasks. Offer training opportunities on new procedures, new technologies or cross training to help engage employees. Goal setting and training can help inspire employees to be innovative and improve corporate success.
Statistics show that happy employees are 12% more productive than their counterparts. Want to regain your market share? Make sure that your employees are performing at their peak.
Every company has its ups and downs. To stay at the top of your market, however, ensure that you learn from your mistakes. Use them as a stepping stone to move back up. The secret to remaining a “hot” company is to be consistent in your commitment to change.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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