Competitive Advantage

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Sections of this topic

    Do You Have an Effective One?

    According to Wikipedia, “Competitive advantage is defined as the strategic advantage one business entity has over its rival entities within its competitive industry. Achieving competitive advantage strengthens and positions a business better within the business environment.”

    How do you know if your company has an effective competitive advantage – either offline or online?

    I’ve compiled a list of Step One questions that will help you determine whether or not yours is strong, and if you are capitalizing on it.

    Competitive Advantage Assessment

    1. Are my company’s mission, vision and values clear, and do all employees embrace them?
    2. Is our strategy for success up-to-date, and understood by management?
    3. Who, exactly, are my competitors?

    4. What are my competitors’ weaknesses? Do they matter?
    5. Do I monitor my competitors’ activities?
    6. Do I take advantage of competitive opportunities?
    7. Does my company possess a uniqueness that easily separates it from my competitors?

    What, specifically, is it?

    If you don’t know the answer to these basic questions, take time out to get this foundation firmly in place. You might even ask a few of your managers these questions … just to gauge their understanding.

    Put it into Play

    With the above basics in place, go on to Step Two – how does your competitive advantage play out in the marketplace? Answer these questions to give you an idea of how you can increase sales by strengthening your competitive advantage:
    1. Would I pay my prices to use my own products or services?
    2. How do my prices compare with my competitors’ prices?
    3. Who, exactly, are my paying customers?

    4. Do I have a comprehensive, up-to-date profile of them, and their buying habits?
    5. Do I have a loyal customer base (repeat sales, or positive word of mouth)?
    6. Does my customer service rank world class?
    7. What trends do I see for my industry in the future? Is my company – and my product mix – aligned with those trends?

    If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to more than one of the above questions, you may need some assistance with discovering and/or leveraging your competitive edge.

    Don’t delay – it’s EXPENSIVE to wait. Work on any weaknesses you uncover and watch sales climb!

    What sets you apart from your competitors?

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    For more resources, see our Library topics Marketing and Social Networking.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Ms. Chapman’s new book has a name change! The Net-Powered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide will be available very soon. With offices in Nashville Tennessee, but working virtually with international clients, Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. As a Founder of iBrand Masters, a social media consulting firm, Lisa Chapman helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @ LisaChapman.com