Competition got you down? Whether you’re fighting to win funding for a startup or are simply looking to keep your business earning enough to stay operational, you need to think about any advantage you have over your competitors. Learn how to improve your business model and compete successfully with these simple steps.

If you’re seeking funding, you need a strong advantage to stand out. Investors not only want to know how you’ll become a financially stable business but what trade secrets or patents you have that other businesses don’t. These unique factors are what help you rise to the top of an industry or take your slice of the market.

Once you’ve found a particular trade secret or the winning combination of secrets, double-down on your strategy to make the most of it. Invest in the area that you have strong expertise so you can outperform everyone in the industry. Whether it’s a recipe for your restaurant or innovative software for your digital marketing firm, these unique advantages need to be investing in and capitalized on to keep you competitive.

Because of this, you can’t specialize in everything. While it may be discouraging to see the competition beat you in a particular specialization or area of expertise, focusing on what your business knows best is typically the way to compete successfully. This could be featuring particular products or choosing particular clients. Remember that you can’t provide services to every single potential client. By honing in on your target audience, you can increase your specialization and improve upon your business model without worrying about being stretched too thin.

Finally, find out how you can continue to innovate. Never stop improving your business and increasing your range of expertise. Although you have a particular set of skills and trade secrets, you should continue to innovate and improve upon your business. Don’t rest on your current success, but find ways to continue to build your business one step at a time.

In the end, slow and steady progress toward a pre-planned goal is the best way to grow your business. Whether your competition is choosing a fast-paced strategy or quickly diversifying their products and services, stick with your expertise and slowly build upon your foundational strategies and core products and services. With a relentless, forward-thinking strategy you can find yourself at the forefront of your industry without becoming fragmented or overreaching your limits and capabilities.