Every business has two goals, get customers and keep customers. In today’s busy market place, competition for customers can be intense. Therefore, it is important to create a competitive advantage that will help you to stand out from your competitors!
What is a competitive advantage? It is what makes your potential customers chose you over your competition. In order to be successful, Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals need to think about what they can do to help customers make a decision to chose to use their products or service.
Here is an activity I have used in my business management classes and workshops. Please feel free to share this activity with others.
This activity is called the “Paper Clip Activity.”
Imagine you are starting your own paper clip company. Think about paper clips and then brainstorm ways you will create a competitive advantage over the "other" paperclip companies.
The activity is most effective when you can do this with another person or between small groups. However, as you are reading this pause for a moment to think about your responses and then complete the article.
There are two types of customers, those who are attracted to lower price and those who are attracted to quality. If quality is important to your customer and your product is perceived to be a higher quality, then a “reasonable” higher price is not an issue. If two products have the same quality, then price becomes most important.
Here is the interesting thing, while yes there is a difference in quality of some products in the same industry – but for many businesses, the quality is based on the perception of the consumer.
There are also two types of business strategies – low cost or differentiation. Some entrepreneurs and business professionals make the error of trying to compete on price rather than find a way to differentiate themselves from their competitor. This is why a small business can compete against large organizations, because they have found something they can do differently to meet the customer’s needs. They are then able to charge a fair price and make a fair profit.
Let’s go back to the Paper Clip company. Think about each of the responses you made. What were some of your immediate responses?
Size and Shape
While you may implement one of those ideas and gain a short-term lead on your competitor, they may also implement similar strategies. And your customers may switch to your competitor.
Again, the two goals of any business are to attract and retain customers. So, how do we build our competitive advantage in order to do that?
Yep, I am going to give you the #1 Key in just a little bit, but first let me have you think about one more thing.
Are you a long-term customer for someone else? What attracted you and why do you continue to do business with them?
Chances are you were attracted to their product or service but you stayed because you of good customer service. Customer service can be what creates the difference so you can better attract and maintain customers.
There was also a study was done to determine the reason why most customers leave or why an employee leaves an organization, at they found it is because of a negative attitude and the way they were treated by someone at that business.
So, the #1 Key to creating a competitive advantage? YOU.
And that is what Advantage Training Group is here to help you with … the knowledge, skills and abilities to improve your Professional and Personal skills that are important contributors to your success. Take the first course "Stress Management for Daily Living" for only $27 to get you started on your way. Let me know in the comments what skills you'd like to improve.