In business, staying ahead of the competition is one of the benefits of being proactive instead of reactive. According to personal development expert Steve Pavlina, being proactive means that you work to create the results that you and your business will experience, rather than waiting to react to what other people are doing. Proactive thinking requires planning and work, but the benefits can make the effort worthwhile.
Anticipation of Challenges
When you are proactive, you set goals and then create the method you will use to achieve those goals. By setting your goals and then working toward them, you are able to analyse the marketplace and anticipate any challenges you may experience. You can use marketing surveys of customers to determine their needs, you can monitor the activity of your competitors to see what new products they have announced, and you can look at your available funding to see if you will need to go out and get more money. As you create your plan and get ready to move forward, you can factor in perceived challenges and be ready to handle them before they happen.
First to Market
A proactive company is constantly on the forefront of new technology, and it develops a reputation for being first to market with new products. Customers come to expect that when developments are announced within an industry, the proactive company has already been working with it and will be getting new products to customers before the competition. This causes a company to be looked at by the marketplace as an industry leader and a primary source for new and emerging technology. When a company is looked at as one of the main first-to-market product developers, it is also able to gain a larger market share than a competitor that does not have a proactive attitude and first-to-market reputation.
When a company is reactive, it spends most of its time trying to keep up with the competition. Money and resources are constantly tied up in being one step behind the industry leaders. A proactive company uses careful planning to remain an industry leader, and this enables the company to apply resources toward identifying and capitalising on opportunities. While the reactive competition is busy bringing current technology to market, the proactive company is planning on different ways to use new technology to create new markets and remain an industry leader.