Watching the developments in our recent General Election, I was left pondering a word that had become a household name in all political discussions — the “stronghold.”

One definition of stronghold is a place that has been fortified to protect it against attack. In politics the word means a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld.

Therefore in the media and ordinary conversations most areas were segments and frequently referred to as the stronghold of one or the other political party.

Key parties tried hard to woo voters in order to gain inroads into each other’s stronghold because it was believed that success lied in penetrating their opponent’s perceived territories.

The outcome of the polls clearly asserted the concept of the stronghold because no matter how much resources and time each dominant party invested, most strongholds remained unscathed by opponent’s selling points regardless of their quality.

Businesses too have, or ought to have, strongholds that must be guarded carefully. Those are areas or markets where a firm’s products are dominant or well received.

Most startups also realise that it is easier to penetrate into some areas than others depending whether there is a dominant brand there or not.

Business sense demands that as your grow your business, you identify your strongholds and hold onto them firmly.

You better spend more time and resources nurturing your stronghold than on your competitor’s strongholds. This is because the return on investment on your strongholds is far much higher than on your competitor’s.

Other than higher returns on your marketing investment, another reason why you should guard your key market is because it is the ultimate prize that your competitors are eyeing to weaken you.

One of the common mistakes most entrepreneurs make is failure to take care of their core customers or strongholds in the belief that they are already safely loyal.

They spend more time and resources trying to penetrate their competitor’s strongholds and leave their own unattended, neglected and easy prey to competitors.

This article was first published in the Business Daily on August 21, 2017.

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