8 Strategies to Help Your Business Gain a Competitive Advantage
Stay Competitive to Grow Your Business
What is a Competitive Advantage? Essentially, it’s what your business does better than others. The smarter you can be about developing and promoting this, the better placed your business will be to succeed. The most common competitive advantages are:
- Competitive pricing: You’re able to supply a competitively priced product.
- Specialization: You service a specific niche market better than other businesses.
- Differentiation: You have the same product or service as others, but you deliver it a different way.
Spend some time writing down what your business does well, listing your key competitors, and outlining what specifically you’ll do to challenge them. Below, we share eight tips to help you build your competitive advantage.
1. Look to your employees.
One of your best competitive advantages is your people. A friendly, knowledgeable, proactive team shouldn’t be underestimated or underappreciated. The key is to make sure your employees are motivated, properly trained, and successful. As a company leader, you can help your employees by:
- Establishing clear performance standards.
- Starting incentive or bonus programs to reward them for successes.
- Encouraging employees to develop their product or service knowledge and provide training.
- Learning what other great companies do and adopt any ideas that are relevant to your business through benchmarking.
- Promote good will by encouraging your employees to serve the greater community through volunteerism.
2. Utilize your location.
For customers to easily find you, you need to be in a good location. What about the retail store that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic? They won’t bring in many customers. When it comes to location, also consider:
- Customer location trends, and whether you need to relocate.
- Marketing your business with B2B accounts—selling your product in other stores, for example.
- Increasing visibility, such as online listings, attending conferences or tradeshows.
- Make sure to claim online listings for heavily used sites such as Yelp and monitor reviews your customers post.
3. Offer unique products and services.
You have an advantage if you can source products or deliver services that the competition cannot. If you’re competing against larger or similar businesses, establish a reputation for unique products. For example:
- Seek exclusive agreements with suppliers.
- Look overseas to find products or a brand that other businesses don’t carry.
- Find a location, contract, service, agreement, or tender that only your business can deliver.
4. Maintain a great website.
A website that is visually attractive with easy navigation is a distinct advantage. Does your website need a facelift? Can you create a simpler online experience for your customers? Here are things to consider:
- Great design: This includes easy navigation, clear, concise, and up-to-date information, and relevant and high-quality photos (if applicable).
- Marketing automation. Use new technologies and automation to gather, nurture, and close any new leads.
- Drive traffic to your website from your social media channels.
- Ensure you are up-to-date with search engine listings such as Google My Business.
5. Engage with your audience.
As a business owner or leader, your own image can be a competitive advantage. No one else has your exact mix of skills, and you can build your image by having your name on as many materials as possible, including:
- Having your name, photo, and quotes on more marketing and sales collateral.
- Speaking at conferences as an industry expert.
- Developing thought leadership pieces in your industry.
- Becoming prominent in your community by volunteering with local nonprofits.
6. Build stronger relationships with suppliers.
Be on good terms with your suppliers and their sales representatives. You might find that they do most of the market research, develop new products, conduct customer analysis, and provide nationwide branding and advertising that enhances your credibility. A good relationship could provide:
- Better service and support.
- Better supply and faster delivery.
- Better return policy and customer support.
7. Form partnerships.
Although it may sound counterintuitive, one of the best ways to compete is to actually partner with other businesses or associations in your industry group, and/or with like-minded leaders. By joining forces with businesses from the same location, or same industry group, you can help increase demand for the industry as a whole.
8. Increase the speed of your deliverables.
Today’s customers exceedingly want quick service and fast delivery. The more efficient your business can be in delivering products and services faster, the greater competitive edge you’ll hold. Brainstorm regularly with staff on how to streamline your business processes and fulfill or exceed customer requirements without sacrificing quality.
For more information on Pacific Premier’s business banking solutions, contact us.
The information expressed is being provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or business. Pacific Premier Bank does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice and the information contained herein should not be construed as such. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions. For specific guidance on how this information should be applied to your situation or business, you should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before applying any recommendation.