Most people are probably familiar with the classic tale of two men walking in the plains when they suddenly spotted a bear approaching menacingly.

As one man prepared to run for his life, his friend asked him whether he could outrun the bear. Perhaps he had in mind the idea of finding a joint solution to the imminent danger or resign to fate.

The other man quite pragmatically and selfishly replied that he did not need to outrun the bear. He just needed to run faster than him because one of them is enough for the bear’s dinner. This story mimics most markets today where success only comes after outdoing competitors. It is something we would call winner-takes-all phenomenon.

In other words, you just need to be slightly better than the competition irrespective of the distance between.

You cannot comfortably ignore competitors and claim to focus on the customer. Your ability to have a competitive advantage is important as well. You have got to go an extra mile to enjoy the one per cent principle that states that over time the majority of the rewards in a given field will accumulate to people that maintain at least one per cent (slight) advantage.

Business people and individuals who embrace this principle achieve more than the rest.

Make a commitment to do just a little bit more than others — be it reporting to work a little early and leaving a little late — adding a slight value to your services or treating your staff a little better than your peers success will be yours.

Most people more often than not think of lots of money to boost capital, a big team of sales people to increase sales or lots of products or many revenue streams to attain financial goals.

The truth is you don’t have to wait until you can make big steps. Start with what you have and build over time. But don’t stop; keep moving.

But failing is also easy. A small leak ignored can bring your business down. Ignoring concerns of customers, as petty as they may be, can slowly bring you down.

This article was first published in the Business Daily on April 3, 2017
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