The quote above is one that PSL hears many times from our clients: so why do we continue to swim against the tide?! Even if you are a small company it is important to have a clear idea of where you are currently and where you want to be. Perhaps more importantly, you need to know how you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors: is your technology better? Are you cheaper? Or is your service better? Once you have decided this it is critical that you make this information readily available to your employees so they can pass it on to your customers.
When first creating your business plan make sure you use the internet to give you facts and figures on the market you’re working in. Say for example you want to be the best distributor in the United Kingdom. A quick search of Google shows a number of companies operating in this field. One can then use Google Trends to show how some of the companies on the first page are faring compared to each other in terms of number of searches on Google:
Figure 1: Analysis on Google Trends of Four UK Life Science Distributors
Other competitor checks can be down through Companies House if you’re based in the UK to take a look at the underlying figures of your competitors.
This analysis will be sober reading for the directors of 2BScientific. But at the same time it gives them a much clearer idea of the scale of the task in front of them and begins the question: how do they boost the number of times 2BScientific is searched for on Google: is it a problem with its suppliers? Do they need to put more money into marketing? Do they need to exhibit at more conferences?
Why is this information good for your employees? It is critical that your employees know what your vision is so they can live that vision for you. For example, 2BScientific has decided that they want to offer a better service than any of their competitors through their mantra high quality All of the employees know this and give this experience to their customers everyday: whether it be through offering a free jar of honey to each new customer, through their 2BIOFIND service whereby they find the best product for you (whether it is in their catalogue or not), to phoning up their customers after they have received their order to check that the product is of sufficient quality and that they were happy with the service.
Once you have made this decision it is also important that you keep reviewing this information on at least a yearly basis to review how you are doing compared to your competitors and to see if there are new companies who you need to be wary of.
PSL appreciates that writing a business plan on a yearly basis may stretch your resources too far so we offer a business plan writing service for you. This will include a competitor review, a review of your technology and a review of the market you are working in. For more information please see our service here.