What makes your business different from everybody else and why should customers pick you over your competition? These are the questions every business owner needs to ask on a regular basis, as well as look for ways to increase their leverage. Leverage is what can transform your business, but only if you know how to take advantage of it.
In this challenging business world, you need every advantage you can find. Having a competitive advantage isn’t simple and chaos will be there to greet you, but the pros outweigh the cons, always. Here are four efficient ways to acquire a competitive advantage as a business owner:
Create advocates and true fans
The probability of the market responding because you desire something is zero. Business is based on the management of promises and when you can frequently deliver and even go beyond promises for all your consumers, you’re ahead of the game. It’s much more costly to find a new client than it is to take care of the current ones.
Your purpose here is to build a fan base and find brand advocates who will go through the trouble to promote what you do. Not because you forced them, but because they desire so. Outstanding customer service and support are affected by every individual in your enterprise – from the reception through the mailroom to the C-suite. You should build a culture where persons are passionate about resolving the client’s needs.
The role of the brand in creating competitive advantage
In our days, no service, product or company can keep a competitive advantage in the long-term. Globalization, technology and data access mean every service or product can be retorted in a very short period. The only actual good that a business has is that good from the customer’s mind. In branding, just like in any other field, it’s important only what is in people’s minds. The mind creates value, desire, power or loyalty. What is a strong brand if not a word that produces intensive emotions that result in loyalty and desire over reason?
If you do decide you need outside help when it comes to branding, remember to select a branding agency that has a deep understanding of the location where you’re going to brand. In other words, one that’s in the same location. For instance, if your branding is for people in Australia (Melbourne to be precise) it would be the only natural to find a branding agency in Melbourne, and so on. In the end, the brand is what brings a competitive advantage for an enterprise in a highly competitive environment.
You should be a people developer
One of the most difficult learning experiences you will go through as an entrepreneur is realizing you can’t do everything on your own. You not only require a solid team around you but you have to understand how to build and lead one. Take a look at any elite military unit such as special forces operations – they are the best of the best because they work as a team, have a singular focus, have the best training and take pride in their unit.
The same is true for your life and business. The persons you have in your inner circle, and those you associate with the most are your “special forces members”. Who should be on your team to ensure you have your “A-team”? All successful entrepreneurs have mastery in building teams and have supportive people around them that cancel out their weaknesses and increase their strengths.
Innovative and operational effectiveness competitive strategy
Organizations often move ahead of their competitors by doing things in different and new ways. Insightec has, for instance, developed a way to remove tumours and cancers without cutting into the body. It’s obvious they acquired a competitive advantage over traditional surgeries by lowering risk, pain, and improving long recovery time. Individuals can find a competitive edge as they explore and offer innovative ways of doing things for the enterprise. If your ideas regularly produce benefits for the company, you’ll have that necessary edge.
On the other hand, some businesses just do their job a lot better than anyone else. FedEx began with an innovative approach. However, it maintained its leadership by doing it quite well – even after dozens of other companies came into the overnight shipping business. For you as an individual, this may mean building systems of operating or new ways to analyze data. When you do your job very well, you’ll find a competitive advantage over those doing it the slower or longer way.
To have a competitive advantage is to employ and develop a strong team, to be innovative or do what one does better than anyone else, as well as to be in the consumer’s mind and create brand advocates. Can you find yours?