10 Tips to Creating a Competitive Advantage
Knock out your competition by creating a competitive advantage! The big corporations do a good job in creating a competitive advantage over you that can be summed up in one word: money. And lots of it. But how did they get there, and how can you be creating a competitive advantage for yourself, with nothing but lint filled pockets?
Well, the term (even though it’s used in marketing) has a much more simpler meaning: creating a competitive advantage is simply competing. So when an investor or someone else asks “what’s your competitive advantage”…he’s asking how you’re going to beat the team on the other side.
Here’s 10 Tips on Creating a Competitive Advantage:
1. Add Value
I had something funny happen to me the other day with another start-up. Like a wise wizard, a retired Entrepreneur appeared out of nowhere and said “add value, then you will find success”…then he disappeared. So everyone…add value! Yes, that means you have to invest in your own idea. Invest in the most important pieces of your business that will add the most value.
2. Strength in Numbers
It’s as simple as looking for other small companies (or large companies) that may want to strategically align with you. Get in contact with their CEO if you can. LinkedIn is probably a good place to find him.
3. Get Traction
Gone are the days of investors and partners throwing millions at products that have yet to transpire from your business plan, to something physical. Do whatever you possibly can to get your business moving, and keep it moving. Learn to code if you have to, spend that $300 for a nice logo.
4. Lower Costs
This kind of goes along with creating a competitive advantage in #2 (partnerships). Those same strategic partners can share office space, share customers. This reduces costs, allowing you to reduce your costs to your customers.
5. Build a Great Brand
Build a brand customers are proud to be a part of. This entails really knowing who your customers are, and what they want, on a personal level. But know building a great brand is a process, and it won’t easily be sustained as a competitive advantage at first.
6. Focus on the One Thing You do Best
If you can, focus on one. Five Guys focused on great burgers creating their competitive advantage, that’s it. I’ll pay $5 for their burger anyday. Sure, I can go to McDonald’s and get a burger or two for $1…but it wasn’t a $1 well spent if I’m going to throw it up, is it?
7. Win With Customer Service
Customer service is a great tool for creating a competitive advantage. Many customers will deal with a low quality product or service…until the customer service pisses them off. That’s when they get huffy, and come looking for a new business…just like you 🙂 .
8. Marketing Channels
Marketing channels, distribution channels…they can be the same thing to some businesses. Whatever you call it, it’s how you get your product or service to your customer. Getting there fast, and cheaply…makes for creating a competitive advantage here.
9. Be Socially Good
Being socially good never hurt a business. It’s a winning competitive advantage for many businesses, like Ben & Jerry’s. Donate a portion of your profits. Incorporate values in your start-up.
10. Make Yourself Convenient
Customers shouldn’t have to go out of their way to find you. Go to them. You can’t build something and expect them to come to you. You also can’t solely rely on marketing, you must be easily accessed.