Once entrepreneurs decide on venturing out on their own, they have to work out certain details. What does your company focus on and what does it do best? Or what can your brand (product or company) potentially do better than any other? And perhaps just as important, what can it not do best?
Answering these questions will offer an insight into your firm’s purpose. And, if they are key to moving towards the road of success. And, this incidentally, is your competitive advantage. And, women entrepreneurs must take care to work in this direction.
Understanding competitive advantage
To put it in plain words, it is your company’s unique skills and resources that work to implement strategies that set you apart from competition. For all business heads, and specially for entrepreneurs, it is critical to understand what your competitive advantage is. In fact, this is the very reason you are in business.
And, this competitive advantage that emphasizes what you do best is what attracts customers to buy your product/service, vis-à-vis competition. Extremely successful companies deliberately make choices to be unique and different in activities that they are really good at and they focus all of their energy in these areas.
Sustaining your advantage over competition
Once you have identified your competitive advantage, that’s not the end of the story. It is not enough just to have an advantage over your competitors. It needs to be sustained. For your business to be upfront and successful, it needs to overcome challenges – competitive and environmental. You need to gear up to be able to combat today’s fierce market forces and uncertainty.
In other words, your competitive advantage needs to be sustainable and able to endure the test of time. Why? Because most advantages can be duplicated within a period of time.
A strong brand offers many advantages for marketers including: enhances product recognition, helps build brand loyalty, helps with product positioning, aids in introduction of new products and builds brand equity.
Spell out your competitive advantage
So, what is your firm’s competitive advantage? Do you have one? And if you do, are you focusing on it?
Assess completion, and it’s time to get serious about the purpose of your company.
First, assess what your company does best by looking at what you are good at and what you are not good at. Turn your unique plus point into a competitive advantage by focusing your energy on these activities. Finally, transform it into something that will endure by continually developing and working on it.
Now, test your competitive advantage
Once you have your competitive advantage in place, it is time to put your competitive advantage to test. How do you know when you have developed a sustainable competitive advantage? Here are some tips that can help evaluate if you are on the right track and keep you there:
- Customers must see a consistent difference between your product/service and those of competition. This difference needs to be clear and obvious to your customers and it must influence their purchasing
- Your competitive advantage must be difficult to imitate. Avoid falling into the incompetence trap.
The above two items combined, are activities that can be constantly improved, and nurtured, to maintain that edge over your competition.
Now, ask yourself: What is my competitive advantage? And is it sustainable? Your organization depends on it!