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3 Tips For Developing a Competitive Advantage

June 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 218

How to develop your Competitive Advantage

Your business needs to have the edge over your competition to attract and retain the aware customers of today's global marketplace. As a specialist in the field of competitive intelligence and business training I am still amazed at how few business owners know what a competitive advantage is and that they need one to survive.

To help you develop your own competitive advantage I have three essential tips to get you started.

Tip #1 Make a list of all the things your business does really well

Here is where a true in depth understanding of your business processes is important as you compile the list of all key activities that your business is good at. Brainstorm as many as possible in a single list down the page.

Examples are;

  • Our shipping to customers is very quick
  • We have highly skilled service staff
  • The owner is a member of a professional association
  • Customers are always speaking well of you on the internet
  • Your product price is very attractive

Once you have made this list we move on the next tip.

Tip #2 What do your competitors do really well

Hopefully you have already identified who are your real competitors before this stage. Review your competitors and make a list of all the things they do really well.

It doesn't matter if you also do it well or if you don't at this stage. Just write down everything they do well.

Now the easy part, go down both lists and cross of any activity that you and your competitors do well. I am not saying that you stop doing them, but for developing your competitive advantage we can ignore them for the moment.

Don't worry if you end up crossing off nearly all the activities on the lists because if you have selected your competitors well, your performance will nearly be the same. In most cases this will leave you will only a few activities that you do really well and that they don't do well.

Tip #3 Create a new list with the remaining activities

Take the remaining activities that your business does really well and the competitors don't do well and write them in a new list. This list is the final stage of developing your competitive advantage.

Look at the list and cross out any activities that the customer does not care about or is not relevant to the customer. This is because a true advantage is only useful if the customer desires this activity.

You should only be left with 2-3 possible competitive advantages now and have to choose the best one. How do you choose the best one, well the final choice is yours, but you can consider the following reasons to choose your real competitive advantage.

  1. Cross out any that can easily be copied by a competitor or new entry to the industry
  2. Cross out any that cannot be marketed or advertised
  3. Cross out any if the advantage could be turned against you by a competitor

The activity that you do really well, that the competitors can not do well, and is valued by your customers becomes your competitive advantage.

Once you have selected you competitive advantage you are now able to develop a consistent brand image for your business that highlights your advantage in every message.

Information supplied by Paul Baker

Over twenty years of business development & change management strategies successfully used in National organisations across Australia. The focus is on continuous improvement of business systems to stimulate growth through our principles of Initiate, Inspire, Innovate.

Customer-centric focus using our extensive experience in consumer behaviour and business process operations to find ways to help business owners manage their organisations.

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Source: EzineArticles
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