Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage For Your Business

Businesses which have a sustained competitive advantage generally sell for a super profit”

– Martin Checketts, author and strategic lawyer

When thinking about selling your business, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. a) What makes my business stand out from the crowd?
  2. b) What unique value does my business provide?
  3. c) How can I strengthen my business against competitors?

Whether you belong in an oversaturated field or a niche market where your brand is easily distinguishable, consistently reviewing the landscape and making adjustments to your business will help you to maintain competitive advantage.

WHAT IS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?

Competitive advantage is any condition or circumstance that positions a company favourably against competitors. Most companies possess both strengths and assets that are challenging for competitors to emulate. The next step is using that knowledge and putting it into action.

HOW CAN I INCREASE OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?

Focusing on strategic positioning can strengthen your competitive advantage. A good place to start involves reviewing your current strategy, assessing your competitors and finding where you can get ahead. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Position, not prospect

Position yourself as THE leader or expert in your field. This will encourage potential customers to come to you, instead of vice versa.

  1. Make your business stand for something

 Successful brands provide experiences. Think Disney – a conglomerate that offers movies, amusement parks, cruises and more. The messaging behind the brand is an inviting place “Where Dreams Come True.” What story do you tell?

  1. Stand on the shoulders of giants

Sometimes the best way to stand out is to acknowledge your competitors successes – and strengthen your business in those areas!

  1. Invest in your team

Investing in your employees will lead to long-term return on investment, as employees who feel valued are more committed, loyal, productive and innovative. This investment will also reduce turnover rates and attract new, qualified employees as your business grows.

  1. Create a fan base

Implement a sound marketing strategy, including a strong presence on social media. Word of mouth is essential for many small businesses and the viral powers of social media will help create loyal fans and advocates who will rave about you.

  1. Offer greater depth of product for limited range

 Allow your competitors to fill the space that offers less depth in a broader range and focus on offering greater depth of products in a limited range.

IMPLEMENTING MY SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?

 Creating a sustainable competitive advantage starts with identifying where you excel and strengthening your business in that area while ignoring other opportunities that only offer short-term profitability.

True sustainable competitive advantage will increase the value of your business. Most potential buyers are more interested in competitive advantage than solid historical performance since it represents the future earning potential of your business.

A business with the “it” factor will sell for the highest value. Taking the time to determine how to stand out in the crowd is an essential step for long-term profitability and a successful exit.

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