Competitive Advantage – So What’s The Big Deal?
You run a small business and you wear many hats. Each hat is important and an essential part of business success. But I argue the most important activity you can give your company, the one piece of management that trumps all others is “finding a competitive advantage”.
Among all the choices you have and in all the decisions you will make, you strive to “do the right thing” and then execute by “doing things right”. (You hope) Determining your competitive advantage is the right thing to do and executing a plan to achieve is doing the right thing.
Peter Drucker said it best, and I paraphrase, “Having a competitive advantage is about being different to the point where you deliberately choose a set of actions that deliver unique value.” Once determined and developed, you must constantly work on showing/promoting those capabilities that give you the advantage. It should be injected into everything the company does such as strategic planning, market planning, operations, the sales pitch etc. Well, you get the idea.
There are several ways to get at the issue of what is my competitive advantage. To get started ask yourself these questions”:
· What does the market value?
· What do I do best?
· What value do I create?
· What is my value proposition?
Another exercise to get the juices flowing is to examine your strengths and match them to the opportunities in the market. Not only will this process begin to help you formulate a plan to achieve an advantage but it is very efficient in making your marketing program effective and focused.
As the English are fond of saying “Quit messing about’”.
Get in gear and figure out what your competitive advantage is and then execute.