It can be challenging for SMEs to keep up with the competition in today’s business world, but there are strategies to employ to stay ahead. In this blog post, we will discuss the top tips for keeping competitive and successful. We will provide insight into how to use these tips to help SMEs remain ahead of the competition.


Why is staying ahead of the competition important for SMEs?

It is essential for SMEs to keep up with the competition in order to stay relevant and competitive in their respective industries. By keeping up-to-date on industry trends, introducing new products and services and offering superior customer service, SMEs can gain a competitive edge and build a strong brand identity and customer loyalty. This can lead to increased sales and increased profits.


So, how can SMEs stay ahead of the competition?


1. Knowing Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

Having a clear understanding of their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) can give SMEs a significant competitive edge. A USP is a statement that effectively communicates how the company’s products or services are different from those of their competitors. By recognising and highlighting its exclusive value, an SME can stand out from the competition and attract more customers.


2. Embracing technology can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

Adopting technology can give SMEs an edge over their competition by providing them with tools and resources that can help them to become more efficient, automate processes, offer better customer service and open up new markets. A study conducted by American Express found that 65% of UK SMEs have managed to grow their businesses by taking advantage of technological advances. Technology also grants SMEs access to data quickly, enabling them to make informed decisions. Additionally, it allows SMEs to stay up-to-date with customer demands and expectations, allowing them to adjust their strategies accordingly. Furthermore, technology can help SMEs to keep a close eye on their rivals, helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and come up with strategies to gain a competitive edge. Despite the benefits Clear House Accounts reported that only half of UK SMEs are embracing technology to the same level as their competitors.


3. Focusing on customer experience can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

By focusing on the customer experience, businesses can gain an advantage over their competition by understanding and fulfilling their customers’ needs. This can result in greater customer loyalty and satisfaction. Companies that focus on customer experience can also use customer feedback to identify ways to improve and gain insight into customer trends, which can help them stay ahead of the competition. According to theTeam, a brand communications agency, businesses that recognise the importance of the customer experience have been shown to outperform their competition.


4. Building a strong online presence can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

Building a strong online presence can give businesses an edge over their competitors by increasing their visibility, providing more opportunities for engagement and expanding their reach. This presence can help to quickly respond to customer feedback, create content to connect with customers and enhance brand recognition. Furthermore, a robust online presence allows businesses to monitor customer trends, gain insight into customer preferences and uncover valuable information about their competitors.


5. Networking can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

Establishing connections with other businesses is an essential part of succeeding in business. Through networking, businesses can gain valuable insights into their rivals’ practices and plans, allowing them to identify areas of vulnerability and craft strategies to remain competitive. Networking also facilitates the formation of strategic partnerships and alliances, which can lead to increased sales and profits. According to research conducted by Coviello in the article titled ‘The network dynamics of international new ventures’, SMEs who formed external connections with each other improved their skills which led to the innovation of new products. In addition, networking helps create relationships with potential customers and partners, boosting a company’s ability to stay ahead of the competition.


6. Fostering a positive company culture can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

Creating a supportive and encouraging environment that emphasises shared values and a strong sense of purpose can help businesses remain competitive. This can lead to improved productivity, better customer service, and a higher level of employee morale, as well as enabling them to attract and retain the best talent. In this way, having a positive corporate culture can give companies an edge over their competition. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.


7. Keep an eye on competitors can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

By monitoring the activities of their competitors, SMEs can gain valuable insights into their strategies, pricing, and marketing tactics, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge can then be used to create better products or services, improve marketing plans and stay ahead of the competition. In addition, keeping an eye on the competition can help SMEs identify opportunities to innovate and expand. Where their rivals have achieved more success, SMEs can learn from them, and where the competition is weaker, they can use the opportunity.


8. Being adaptable can help SMEs stay ahead of the competition:

Being adaptable helps SMEs remain competitive by allowing them to quickly and efficiently respond to changes in the market. This allows SMEs to stay ahead of their competitors by taking advantage of new opportunities and changes in customer demand. Additionally, being adaptable helps SMEs identify potential growth opportunities, such as new products or services, and develop strategies to take advantage of them.


In conclusion, it is important to stay ahead of the competition in any business. Keeping up with industry trends, investing in technology, and creating a customer-centric environment are all important steps to ensure success. It can be challenging to stay ahead of the competition but with the right strategy, tactics, and tools, it is possible to stay one step ahead. By using the tips outlined in this blog, you can put yourself in a position to stay ahead of the competition and achieve success.                                                                                                                                        

Here at Newable, we can also give you advice on how to stay ahead of the competition. We have a team of experienced advisers passionate about helping SMEs by providing fully funded advice. We give a range of external support and can help you to understand how to implement our top tips for staying ahead of the competition. Find out more about how Newable can help you to stay ahead of the competition.


About Newable

We can also help you in other areas of your business. Whether it be MoneyAdvice or Workspace, Newable provides the essential resources businesses need to take the next step.

Find out more about how Newable can help you and your business.


Read our other blogs in this series:

Top 4 Challenges Facing SMEs

Top tips for SMEs on Expanding Globally

5 top tips to help make your business reach net zero

What does the rise in interest rate mean for SMEs?

Top 7 Benefits of Shared Workspaces for SMEs

How to Create a Winning Pitch for Investment

5 Top Tips to Help SMEs Retain Staff

How AI can Benefit your Business

How to Use the 7Ps to Structure Your Marketing Strategy