Importance of strategic alignment to beat Covid-19 | Sunday Observer

Importance of strategic alignment to beat Covid-19

Covid 19 has made markets more fiercely competitive than ever before. Markets for almost all products and services have shrunk, costs have escalated, and finance costs have skyrocketed.?

Competition is growing in every single industry, every single day across the whole world. Yet our businesses have to go on for which we need to compete better with more acute and sharper strategy. If you wish your business to stay profitable, it’s time to stop seeing your competitors as villains trying to eat into your profit share with a sinister laugh.

The best way to hurt them is by bettering their strategies to beat them. There is only one effective way of doing this. Instead of focusing on your competitors’ flaws, concentrate on their winning strategies, cost reduction measures, successful campaigns, and why they are better than you if that’s the case.

If you are the leader and you still need to do better, what competitor strategies can you outperform by a high margin? To get past the mindset that your competitors are weaker, take a moment and do this exercise.

List the five most successful things your three or four biggest competitors have done after covid-19 – in the new normal world. Don’t simply do this yourself, have your key managers do the same. This will help you take a step back and assess the situation without letting personal feelings get in the way. You can also access why they were smart ideas and how you can replicate or improve on them.

Self examination

Try to put yourself in your competitors’ shoes. What do they think of you? How do they think you’ll act in a given situation? If you can decipher their expectations of you, you can anticipate their next move. You can also learn about your own flaws since it’s likely that your competitors have been underestimating you the same way you have been underestimating them. Self examination is often easier when you take the time to step away from the rut of your habitual thinking and view yourself from another perspective.

If you are making moves because of actions your competitors are taking, you are inevitably sailing in their wake. The competitor becomes the leader. You are now making your business decisions based on their refreshed business plan and vision, and not your own.

You should never change course in reaction to the actions of a competitor. Instead, you must make all of your decisions based on your own plan. Craft a business that works for you and for your customers bearing in mind the covid-19 implications to your business and your competitors – and keep an eye on other businesses and their reactions to see if there is anything that you are missing.

It’s painful to lose business to a competitor and it has its own negative implications. The gut reaction is to think that you are doing something wrong. You will be tempted to change course, to play the game by your competitors’ rules. Well, don’t. You better have your own set of rules that you play by. If you deliver superior quality and service, you have no business trying to compete on price.

Be the first mover

You can’t have every single customer. Even if you accomplished this, the government would step in and break up your monopoly. There are customers out there that you simply won’t get to have. So stop coveting your competitor’s customers, even if they used to be your customers.

You need to find your ideal profitable customer segment, and then own that segment. Losing customers by the boatload? Then, sure, you need to reevaluate your business. But do it on your terms, not someone else’s.

Keeping up with the competition is a losing play from the outset. You have a completely different company; different customer value proposition, different strategy, and many other differences. If you try to model your business after the success you think you see, without regard to your unique business, you will create a monster. While you start to have some success, you will eventually go down in flames. Instead, focus internally. Make sure you have a solid company that can bring in sales, service those sales, and grow at a sustainable pace.

After all you only have a certain percentage of the market that you can effectively play in to make a return. Expanding your footprint is, therefore, possible though the overall market is down due to Covid-19. Find those profitable opportunities when your competitors are still wandering around. Be the first mover to gain an advantage.