5 Strategies To Turn Uncertainty To Your Competitive Advantage
So here you are in the age of uncertainty! Whether it is the economy, your competition, customers, employees, or a pandemic. This world is changing at rapid speed. In a marketplace that is shifting, how are you supposed to grow a business, or get comfortable enough to take a risk? Yet, at the same time, you logically know you can’t stand still. You have to keep moving, but what direction do you choose?
It’s time to thrive in uncertainty. Embrace the unknown, harness the constant shifts, and create enough focus to seize the opportunities.
Here is the Quick Start Strategies For Thriving In Uncertainty
1. See Change Coming:
Change is only a threat if you don’t see it coming. If you prepare for it, it can be your greatest opportunity. Now we get it, you cannot prepare for every change, and you won’t see change coming, but the more you prepare for change, the more conditioned you will be for it.
Every quarter take 30-minutes with your team, or your peers, to talk about the changes you see coming in these areas: Society, Competition, Industry, Politics, Customers, Technology, and the Economy.
By taking the time to talk about what is happening in these areas will ensure you are focused outside of your business, focused on both the positive and negative shifts happening.
The more you talk about change, the more you think about change, the more prepared you will be for change. The more you prepare for change, the more you will see it coming, the faster you will respond, and the sooner you will turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.
2. Invest In Your Team:
The only advantage you have left in today’s marketplace is the quality of your team. It is not about what we make, offer, or sell in today’s marketplace, but far more about how we do that.
Our competitive advantage is in the experience we create for customers and our reputation in the marketplace. Our team members interact with our customers much more than we do, and our success is 100-percent dependent upon how much our employees care and how engaged they are.
Make talent engagement one of your top priorities this year – finding, attracting, and developing top talent.
Create your Employee Ideal – the model of your perfect employee. Before you can attract top talent, you need to understand what top talent looks like for you. Brainstorm the skills, values, qualities, and actions you need in an employee, then use that model when hiring, promoting, or investing in team members.
3. Get Clear On Your Core:
When I started writing the book “Thrive: Turning Uncertainty To Competitive Advantage,” I set out to find and interview companies that had not only survived but thrived through challenging economic times.
There aren’t many, but those companies who thrived, one thing was clear; they knew who they were, what they wanted to offer and accomplish. Thriving companies stayed true to their core values and experience they delivered.
Update your core values. Be sure that they are reflective of who you are and what you want your company to represent. Ask if they get you excited, do you feel emotionally connected to them, and do they inspire and motivate you?
When you can answer yes to those questions, then move on to using these core values for decision making at every level of your company. Customers you work with, employees you hire, those you promote, and the products you offer and so forth.
Being true to your values will give you the grit and courage to make it through challenging times.
4. Add Value To Secure Your Base:
While we tend to worry about new business in challenging times, the true stability and power comes from focusing on your existing customers.
Holding on to the business is a faster path to stability and growth, than trying to find new customers in times of uncertainty. The only way you genuinely retain existing relationships is to add so much value they would never entertain going somewhere else.
Make a list of your top 50 customers, and reach out, and check-in. Think about what questions you can ask, the research you can do to go more in-depth on the solutions or challenges they are facing. Then do your homework to strategize solutions and ideas.
In times of uncertainty, our customers need us more than ever. They need us to be proactive, strategic, and to come up with ideas that make their lives and their businesses better.
5. Keep Moving:
This is no time to get stuck trying to make decisions, or to be weighed down in fear or seeking perfection. You need to keep moving. No one knows the right answer, and no one has the perfect solution, so keep moving, fail fast, and keep going.
The answer lies in progress. Progress is achieved if you keep moving and keep connecting.
Create a list of 5 goals you want to accomplish, and create the strategy to get them done. Then schedule, calendar, and do what you need to take action every day. It is through motion that you will make progress, and through progress that you will find answers, and from those answers, you will find the path out of uncertainty.
Listen, uncertainty can be your greatest downfall or your greatest opportunity – the choice is yours. Put these strategies into place, and watch as uncertainty becomes your greatest competitive advantage.