How can entrepreneurs improve and maintain their edge in business? We can always improve and get better. We can never slack and think we’ve just got it made if we want to keep seeing great results. It may be competitive out there but the key to keep on winning is to find your edge and keep honing it. Here are seven ways to do that.
1. Always Be Trying New Things
Always be trying new things. Mastery is good, but greater results come from testing out new things. It’s good for your brain and spirit. Not everything may stick and work, but those that do will put you ahead of the competition, and give you the real edge. Try improving your personal performance edge with your exercise and diet. You can increase your market and people knowledge by visiting new locations, and level up your business by testing new apps, software, and marketing campaigns
2. Take on the Tough Clients
In business, everyone wants the easy deals. Nobody wants to deal with the headache of a tough client, but the truth is there’s value to be found there if you’re willing to do the work. This is true not just when you’re starting out—and deals are harder to come by—but when you’re more established and can afford to be pickier with the people you take on as clients.
Make a name for yourself and carve out business by being willing to take on the tough deals, those attached to clients that are strong-natured or ask a million questions. Win these people over—you’ll earn yourself deals those clients can become your best lead sources.
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
Those who gain a serious edge in the market are those who are always learning. They are on top of new trends, new tech and tools and always look for ways to know more about their business than competitors. Don’t just offer the standard service everyone else is offering—explore ways to go two or three levels deeper with that service.
If you sell software, are you also selling coaching on how to best use that software? If you sell a product, are you also offering customers the option to have it professionally installed? Will this require learning new skills? Most definitely. The effort is worth it, though, since the best way to attract more dollars is to offer more value to your existing customer base.
4. Hire Better People
One of the best ways to improve your edge both as an individual entrepreneur and business is to hire better people. Hire people who are more experienced and skilled than you. They will boost your knowledge, performance and business metrics. Just make sure you let them work to their full abilities. Hire better for your marketing department, bookkeeping, customer service, sales reps, general managers, and more.
5. Hang Out With Others Who Challenge You
Having a strong in-house team is vital. It will determine how high your business goes, and how fast. Yet, it is also important to hang out with peers and mentors who challenge you to grow and operate at an ever-higher level. They will lift you up, if you let them.
Find out where they are and how you can get more time with them. Any investment you need to make to work on this part of your development is worth it. Support the causes they support, hang out at the clubs and vacation spots they go to, and attend the events they attend.
6. Have an Open Invitation to Compete
Only competing at anything when you feel in your peak zone is kind of cheating. It can be smart in business. It can also dull your edge. Instead, have an open invitation for people to challenge you. That could be to go with your competition to an auction, to show up at your office with the toughest deal to do, or to show up at your home for a game of tennis or Chinese checkers. It will boost your mind and mental capabilities and teach you to always be ready.
7. Do it More
Whatever you want to get better at—do it more. Want to be better at writing client proposals? Then book more meetings. Want to be able to answer any question your client might have? Read the agreement ten times. Want to be better at networking? Do it every week. Want to be better at saying yes and making bold moves—put yourself in situations to do just that.