Productivity | October 02, 2019

How to Differentiate your Businesses in a Competitive Era?

The three most common ways of differentiating your business from competitors are innovative products, lower costs of sales and marketing efforts. However, this specification takes away from all other relevant factors that contribute to a business's competitiveness. 

In other words, what does it take to weave through the crowd and become the leader of your industry?

Just like in the aspects of a business, certain elements can be influenced internally, while others are in control of external factors. Considering that our knowledge is focused on productivity measures, we will be highlighting a few efforts that you can take to stand out from your competition and win over market share in your industry.

Foster a Productive organizational Culture

Organizational culture is an interesting concept that is defined by the values and beliefs that people share within the business. Larger organizations are known to have rigid cultures that have been developed inside the business for decades; however, we won't be looking into large scale businesses in this blog. 

Instead, what we are interested in are smaller and agile businesses whose teams can quickly adapt to changes in their organizational cultures. As such, let’s start by taking a look into the most important component of an organization's culture, its employees.

Employees: The Drivers Of Productivity

The people who make up a productive organizational culture are the employees. Their behavior, values, and perception of the culture are what influences productivity in the workplace. For example, a competitive culture based on rewards is proven to drive productivity among employees. 

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However, competition can negatively influence morale if team members take it too far. Similarly, a flexible culture that allows employees to freely navigate their workday can increase transparency and accountability - both positively correlated to productivity - but it can also lead to misuse, time theft, and other unethical behaviors.

“78% of employees said flexible work arrangements made them more productive” - The State of Flexible Work Arrangements

As we can see, employees represent an important aspect of a business’s culture. When they understand and value the culture, employees are more likely to perform better. Hence, when performance increases, the company starts to offer higher quality goods or services - making it more competitive in the market.

Leadership: Motivating To Success

Traditionally, leadership was responsible for envisioning an organizational culture that would dictate the behavior of employees. If the culture was perceived positively by the staff than the executive got bonus points but if it ended up being inconsistent and poorly defined than they would have to bear the burden of all the complaints.

As such, it is important to understand how important leadership is to the establishment of a business's culture. However, being a successful executive does not necessarily mean they have done or continue to do a great job with the culture. Let’s take Steve Jobs as an example. Early in his career, when Apple was not a trillion-dollar company, Steve Jobs was loved for his innovative mind but loathed for his managerial skills. Among others, Steve Jobs built a culture that was fostered anger and despise among employees; His critical and direct management style was not well-received by the staff - which eventually led to his dismissal from Apple.

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In recent decades, organizational cultures are defined through a collective effort that takes into account the wants and needs of top-level management, employees, and in some cases, external contractors. Today, the role of a leader is to motivate people to pursue a culture that they defined themselves. A great example of these cultures are up and rising companies - who are led and managed by young executives. 

Remember, leadership plays an important role in helping employees understand the culture. If properly implemented, a leader can motivate employees to reach higher levels of productivity that will help the business become more productive and efficient - helping them better compete in the market.

Scheduling: Learn What Works Best

Earlier, we briefly touched upon how work schedules - if implemented correctly - can have an impact on employee productivity. Scheduling is a process that tries to find common ground between the needs of the employees and those of the business. This implies offering flexibility and variety to employees to retain employee motivation and productivity - indirectly influencing the performance of the business.

Making the workplace fun and engaging isn’t that difficult, especially at a time when thousands of proven work schedules exist. One of the work schedules which has been gaining traction over the past few months is the 9/80 work schedule.

A 9/80 work schedule takes two workweeks and separates them into eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day and one day off. Sounds complicated? It really isn’t, learn more about the 9/80 Work Schedule by clicking here.

The list of work schedules goes on, each with their innate benefits and shortcomings. Yet, the need for change in the workplace is evident. People get bored, and they are looking for new opportunities that keep them engaged. As such, why not start by altering their work schedules?

Help People Find You Through Digital Marketing

Did you know that 29% of small businesses in the US do not have a website? 

In a digitized world, printing a few brochures and sending out postcards won't help you stand out in the market. The relevance of traditional marketing has been on a decline ever since Google introduced its paid advertising platform called Google AdWords (now known as Google Ads). Soon after, they came out with their local listings platform called Google MyBusiness which was tailored to small businesses interested in taking the first step towards digitalization. However, if the business doesn’t have an online website then it won't be able to run ads nor list their business in the local listings.

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But, Google Ads and MyBusiness listings are only two of the many outlet's small businesses can choose to start developing their online presence. The growth of social media, email marketing, and SEO are only a few additional options from which one can pick.

Another added benefit of digital marketing is that it is a lot more affordable than advertising across traditional mediums, such as TV or Radio. However, this trend will change as the demand and price for online ads continue to increase. Nonetheless, hiring a digital marketing expert is a must for small businesses looking to get past local competitors.

Automate Process That Don’t Add Value

We all know those one or two repetitive tasks that kill our time on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. A typical example of such a task is the gathering and reporting of timesheets.

Many small professional businesses still rely on pen and paper timesheets and punch clocks to measure the work hours of their team. This is especially prevalent across construction, home repair, HVAC, and landscaping businesses that rely on old-time management methodologies.

Old ways of tracking work hours are not only time-consuming but also prone to errors and misuse. In response to these problems, developers from across the world have been creating digital time trackers that help businesses save time and money throughout the process. These platforms are inexpensive, and they offer advanced features that will revolutionize decision-making within the business.

If you are interested in learning more about time tracking automation than visit our resourceful blog where we share insights and tips every week.

In order to stand out in the market, businesses have to start diversifying their operations with the goal of retaining motivated employees. A great place to start is organizational culture, as it depicts how employees will behave inside the business. A well perceived organizational culture helps a business grow, while a negatively perceived one creates division, unwillingness to work, and in the worst-case hatred. It falls upon leadership to take action and guide the business towards a productive culture that promotes growth. 


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Atto is the simplest timesheet app for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s intuitive interface and carefully designed features, including time tracking, location tracking, team insights and automated timesheets help employees and managers focus on real work.

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