In an economic era of fierce competition and sophisticated copy cats, differentiating your company from rivals is a tough job.
Look at Samsung and Apple. They are currently engaged in a global ding-dong battle for market share and all the while somewhere, somehow, global brands like Gucci, Prada and even Ikea are being undercut by cheap market knock-offs.
Even if you’re not a global heavyweight, chances are you’ve got battles of your own. Just ask any small business owner in WA.
In an ever increasing competitive landscape, local business owners are thinking of ways to differentiate themselves and win both the short and long game against their competitors.
Marketing, cost-cutting, and generally doing more with less are the usual levers to pull.
But where to start?
How much money do you invest in marketing? What type of marketing should you use? Who is your audience? How do you innovate to stay ahead of the field? What areas of the business do you cut? The list goes on.
Large sums of money can exchange hands and countless hours spent poring over an advertising creative in a bid to give your company the business edge over your competitors.
Sometimes a great idea comes out of left field that engages the entire community and has other company executives banging on the door of their communications agency demanding: I want something that goes viral like the ice bucket challenge (somewhere, a communications director just rolled his eyes!)
Truth is though, whether you are a small business selling sandwiches, or a massive mining company, there are opportunities (many of them free) that can help set your business apart even in these competitive days.
One such opportunity is to invest in a healthy workforce. Let’s take a look:
1. Start a workplace health program
In July, I wrote how a local company we had been working with (Guy’s Grooming) had slashed staff sick days resulting in significant savings for the business. Other WA-based workplaces have got on board the WA workplace health phenomenon with Transmin, Edith Cowan University, Steel Blue Boots, Inpex, Creative ADM and thousands of others investing time into workplace health and showing some great results. Ultimately, a workplace health program should look to address areas such as policy, environment and education but if you just want to start out small and eventually work up to a full program here’s some ‘quick wins’ to get your workplace on its way.
a) Remove rubbish and recycling bins from individual desks. Sitting at your desk all day is bad for your health. Promote walking by locating bins in a central location to encourage staff to get up and interrupt their sitting.
b) Send the HWWA Health Works newsletter to your employees. Health Works is a downloadable resource full of tips and advice for workers. You can even add some health tips of your own with our editable version. Visit www.hwwa.com.au/resources
c) Start a lunchtime walking group. Get some fresh air in your lungs. Lace up your trainers and take a walk with your colleagues.
If you want a more productive workplace, go to www.healthierworkplacewa.com.au to download more ‘quick wins’ like these.
2. Become a HWWA Recognised Healthy Workplace
If you’ve ever wanted to stand out from your competitors, HWWA now offers WA workplaces of all sizes the opportunity to become a Recognised Healthy Workplace.
Why would you want to do this? Well, it’s all about reputation:
a) Become a leader amongst your competitors
b) Be a company customers would like to deal with
c) Be a company that employees want to work for
The best part is becoming a Recognised Healthy Workplace is free. Go online www.healthierworkplacewa.com.au to see if your business qualifies.