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In these tough economic times, businesses need to set themselves apart from their competitors.  There is no way that any business can rest as the economy continues to try to pick itself up following the 2008 credit crunch.  However, competition for those still in business is stiff with all entrepreneurs trying to make whatever they are selling seem different and better quality than that being produced by competitors.  For the consumer, this can often lead to confusion and disparity when trying to find a supplier. 

Everyone wants to believe that they are getting the best service or product. This is especially true where larger purchases or contracts are involved. For example, where buying a car or entering into a contract for a major service, such as recruitment. The need to feel as if the best possible service or product is being received applies not just to consumers spending their cash, but to businesses also.

Difficult economic times over recent years have meant that consumers and businesses alike have chosen to shop around for services and products, despite often having long standing relationships with other providers. This is due largely to cost. During growth and boom periods, people don’t tend to question their service levels or product quality as much as they do when the purse strings are a little tighter. During times of prosperity, such questions will only arise when a customer feels that they have had poor service.

For businesses, the major way to combat such problems is to ensure that it can be distinguished from the competition as a market leader, or provider of excellence. There are a number of ways in which this can be done. 

One of the best tactics businesses have at their hands would be to rely on happy clients or customers. Client or customer testimonials go a long way towards helping businesses win more work or sales. Word of mouth still remains one of the most positive and effective ways in which business can be won. 

Websites and social networking are becoming popular ways for companies to generate more business by showcasing their talents and products. A welcoming, useful website and a pro-active social media campaign can work wonders for a business when trying to attract new clients and customers.

Finally, an extremely effective way of proving that a business does what it says on the tin is to get accreditation that it has met industry standards. ISO9000 is becoming a more and more popular way for a business to advertise the fact that it has passed the rigorous tests needed to receive accreditation.

Joan Latimar writes articles on British Assesment for business.

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