Achieve a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Sustainable Competitive EdgeWithout a competitive advantage you can’t grow your business. You’ll struggle with your marketing, and eventually you’ll be out of business. But you need more than just a one time competitive advantage. You need to be able to be competitive at all times. Here are several effective ways to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage that are critical for the marketing success of any small business.

First Understand Your Competitive Advantage

In our article, What is Your Competitive Advantage? we point out 18 areas where your business can have a competitive advantage. Often small businesses will not have a clear understanding of their competitive advantage. They will be vague or unsure, but a strong competitive advantage is clear and easily understood. The first step in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage is to be absolutely clear that you know and understand what your competitive advantage is, and that your entire company has that same understanding. It won’t be sustainable if it’s not clearly understood.

Create a Strong Competitive Advantage

Once you have a clear advantage you need to make sure it is a strong competitive advantage. Of all the ways to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, it won’t matter what you do if your competitive advantage is weak. The easiest way to know the strength of your competitive advantage is by analyzing your sales. Weak competitive advantages create weak sales. But a strong competitive advantage will create strong sales. The level of your sales is directly proportionate to the strength of your competitive advantage. If you don’t have a strong advantage you’ll need to pivot or change your strategy.

Know Your Competitive Advantage is Always Changing

Changes Ahead Freeway Road Sign

It’s great to change your strategy from time to time because your competitive advantage is always changing. I was working with a small business that developed a training program. The content was great. It was well researched, and resonated with their target audience. However, after several years of selling the same training program, they hadn’t made any significant updates. Their customers begin to lose interest in the product and they started losing license agreements. The interesting thing about this example is that there weren’t many direct competitors in their market. They could have easily updated their materials which in turn would have refreshed their competitive advantage, but they didn’t want to change.

Look for New Ways to Achieve a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Nothing in business will last forever. The best way to create something sustainable is to constantly update, improve, refine, or replace it. You should be continually looking for new ways to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. If you aren’t looking for something new, chances are you’re falling behind. There are other businesses out there competing against you whether you like it or not. Try something new, and don’t be worried if not everything works out.

Want to Create a Sustainable Competitive Advantage for Your Small Business?

The marketing specialists with The 5 Disciplines of Marketing offer professional services to help you improve your competitive advantage. Please contact us to learn more.