Change and reinvention are a continuous process for many small business owners as they remain competitive in a tough business climate, according to the Citibank® Small Business Pulse survey. Some changes are big – like a product overhaul. Or they can be small, such as doing additional research or increasing face time with customers. Nevertheless, the Citibank Small Business Pulse survey revealed specific actions that small business owners take on a regular basis to remain competitive. They are: #1: Do your research and get educated. While 88% remain up to date and knowledgeable about their business and industry, they also pay attention to market changes in order to remain competitive. “Many business owners focus on their skills and industry knowledge,” says Jerome Byers, Head of Citibank Small Business. “To find truly new business ideas, often the best sources are from other industries and markets. When seeking new answers, all business owners are your peers.” #2: As always, work hard, be diligent and do what needs to get done. Perhaps one of the easiest identifiers of a business owner is their sense of dedication and willingness to dig into all aspects of the business. One sign of that commitment is their inability to take a break; 53% didn’t take a vacation last summer. “Small business owners don’t stop when the clock strikes 5:00,” says Byers. “But it’s also important to know when an outside resource can do something better and faster and offer new ideas and approaches based on their experience.” #3: Update or upgrade technology. Close to 70% of respondents have updated or upgraded their computer systems, with 51% proclaiming a major technology change to their business operations. #4: Know your clients. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they have increased face time with customers to keep their business thriving in today’s economy.