Valley First

Staying Ahead

If you’re making profits in the market you’re in, that’s great! Now you’ll need to figure out how to rise to the top of your market as a strong competitor. Let us provide you with some insight.


Staying ahead of the competition

  • Using information to maintain a competitive advantage requires effective interpretation.
  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, where they see opportunities, and what they see as threats. From this basic analysis, you can start predicting their next actions.
  • Determine your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats—use your strengths, exploit your competitors’ weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities that are feasible and minimize threats.
  • Don’t ignore upstart rivals, or “fringe competitors”—they may take off suddenly leaving you in a financial bind.
  • Don’t get too locked into repeated business practices or product/service launch strategies—your competitors are watching and you don’t want to be predictable.


It can be tricky to stay ahead if your competitors are creating problems that require you to adjust what you do, not how well you do it. So, keep your operations flexible so that you can adapt to change more easily.

Staying ahead of customer demand

  • Try to do some predicting about where customer demand will go based on what you know and what your research tells you. Adapt accordingly.
  • Try doing something new—maybe a spin-off product/service which meets a new need for your customers.
  • Stay on top of the fads—the new hottest trends for your target market and see how you can get a piece of the pie.
  • Talk to your friends, your kids, your parents about what things they see on the horizon—if you’re trying to reach one or all of these market segments, then this free insight can help.


Don’t be unnecessarily reactive. Sometimes it is better to see how things work out for your competitors trying something new before taking your company in that direction. That way, you can learn from any mistakes they make and perfect it before implementation.

Anticipating process & technology enhancements

  • While it’s great to look at the past in order to correct problems and refine processes, you should develop some future scenarios for your market including potential shifts and market opportunities on the horizon.
  • Involve your employees—some of the best ideas come from the people who are doing the day-to-day work in the operation.
  • Consider testing things out in a market, instead of planning and forecasting each idea exhaustively—

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