Surviving in the small business world means keeping your products and services competitive. Depending on your product or service, staying competitive may mean offering a lower price, building in extra features, or offering a new spin on an established product. Your first step is to identify what your competitors are doing and find ways to do it better. Spend time collecting information about your competitions strengths and weaknesses. If customers complain that the competition charges too much for a product, find ways to cut costs so you can lower your prices. Look into switching wholesalers, negotiating new contracts, or changing up your packaging to offer a lower retail price. Extra features are a great way to put yourself ahead of the competition. These can be as elaborate as new software features or as simple as a built-in warranty, technical support, or a satisfaction guarantee. If your product or service leaves room for innovation, look into implementing a new twist that brings in customers. Maybe your competitor sells soy candles, and you have access to a unique coconut-soy blend thats more highly fragranced. Market your new product as a quality alternative to your competitor’s. No matter which strategy you use to stay ahead of the competition, make sure youre continually monitoring your products performance and that of your competitors. A regular competitive analysis and the ability to adapt are crucial to any business’s success.