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How to Get Ahead of Your Competitors in Q1

While some people are still recovering from the holiday season, some have already made this first quarter, their best one yet!

Sure, looking back at 2017 for lessons learned is important but companies who want to have the upper hand in 2018 need to knock Q1 out of the park.

Why?

Consider Q1 your mirror, the foundation in which you’ll build the rest of the year.

How well you do in Q1 will reflect back to you a “vision” of how the rest of the year will go, if you dominate your industry, and how to get and stay on top.

Here are a few ways to use the power of Q1 to get ahead of your competition.

Choose 2-3 new marketing strategies to test

April 1st is not the time to decide what marketing strategies you’re going to employ in 2018. If you wait ‘til Spring to decide, you’ve already lost important ground.

Instead, you should decide in February the three prominent ways you’re going to market your business in the first quarter.

It’s important that you stick to these methods come hell or high water all quarter long. At the end of Q1 you’ll evaluate the results of all three strategies. The one that did the best will be your prominent marketing strategy of 2018. The one that you’ll put the most money and muscle behind.

Set Your Smallest Goal for Q1

Sounds counterintuitive, right? New year. New you. Small goals?

If we’ve learned anything from resolutions, it’s that enthusiasm can only get you so far. Don’t make the typical “resolution” mistakes that we see people do with their other goals. Don’t set a lofty goal (aka lose 50 lbs in January) only to give up on healthy eating and exercise by January 15th.

Instead of picking the highest revenue goal you can think of, select one that is just a fraction of the goal you’ll set in Q2 and beyond.

The reason for this, is so you can test this revenue goal alongside your new marketing techniques, without setting your highest expectations right out of the gate, before you’ve had a chance to evaluate what strategies work the best.

Once you discover that, then it’s time to increase your goal, and go full-steam ahead on strategies that you collected profitable data on in Q1.

Compare Your Freemium and Premium Offer

...and compare it with the freemium and premium offers of your competitors.

Q1 is a great time to evaluate what the difference is between your offer and your competitor’s, as well as make sure that your freemium offer actually does solve a problem that’s still relevant.

All too often freemium offers - which is a powerful way to convert people into paid customers -  fall short. They either don’t fully solve a small problem for their target customer, or the problem that they DO solve is no longer relevant to the market.

This puts your competitors in the dangerous position of clobbering you with better products that are more relevant to your customers.

The solution? Evaluate your products against theirs, and against your customer’s needs and problems.

Measure your Team’s Confidence

Want to hit some big goals in Q1 and set yourself up as the leading force in your industry?

Then know, that it’s not you, your goals, or your product alone that can make that happen. It’s all about how much faith do you have in your team? And how well do you build them up?

A team who believes they can tackle quarterly goals - which are less daunting than annual goals - is a team that will stay focused, rally, and see the goal to the end.

The problem is, typically at the beginning of the year a team may say they’re confident, but the numbers don’t add up and goals don’t get met. So it’s important to keep an eye on your team during the first goal you set in Q1 and evaluate where your team is lacking in confidence, before you invest all the way.  

Because a team who believes they can, does. And where they fall short, you can build back up.

How are you planning on getting ahead of the competition in Q1 this coming year? What strategies have you already put in place? Let us know in the comments below!

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