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The world would be boring if every person was the same and businesses are no different. It is very hard to come up with a business idea that is completely unique and even if you do, chances are someone will eventually create something very similar to what you are offering.

This is why it is so important for you to find your competitive advantage.

With so many people and businesses offering similar services, it is integral that a business has a point of difference. There needs to be something that they do better than anyone else they are up against. It doesn’t have to be big, but it has to exist and they have to be consistent with it. Without one, few businesses can succeed long term.

This being said, you don’t necessarily have to be ‘the cheapest’ or ‘the best’ to do well in your business. You just have to have a legitimate reason as to why customers should choose your services or product over that of your competitors.

If you are completely clueless as to where to start look for your competitive advantage, ask yourself the following:

  • Is your product or service superior?
  • Is it better value for money?
  • Is it new to the market?
  • Is it unique?
  • Are you covering a niche market?
  • Do you offer a product or service that others don’t?
  • Have you patented your product, so it can’t be copied?
  • Do you offer a better guarantee than industry standard?
  • Do you offer a better warranty than industry standard?
  • Are you promoting through channels that competitors don’t yet use?

Once you have figured out where your competitive advantage lies, do your best to work with it. Use it to your advantage and focus your efforts on making sure your customers are aware that it is your point of difference.

Although, it is important to remember that you should re-evaluate it often. People’s desires change rapidly and the market adapts to fit those needs. Your competitive advantage right now, might not be as relevant in a year, so don’t forget to double-check that you’re still on the right path.

 

Reference: Stephen Canning, CEO, JCurve and ANZ Small Business Hub

 

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