Does your business have competitive advantages? Of course you do. Your competitive advantages are the reasons why people choose to buy your products and services instead of buying from your competitors.
Some people prefer to buy from you because of your specialized expertise, or your pricing structure, your product quality, convenient location, responsiveness, friendliness, the ambiance you create, product selection, and probably hundreds of other reasons.
But unless you optimize and exploit your competitive advantages, your success will be mediocre. Your customer base will think of you as ordinary, not exceptional. And every business that is going to grow needs to be exceptional in some way.
Compare your company against your competitors on a point-by-point basis. When you do it, you will find some real areas where you have advantages. Then it is up to you to exploit those advantages.
Think for a second of a football team with a star running back playing against a team with a lineman who has an injured ankle. We all know the offensive team will exploit the competitive advantage by pounding away at that injured lineman, running play after play at him, optimizing their competitive advantage.
Are you optimizing, exploiting and taking advantage of your competitive advantages? Your advantages should be shouted out as part of your branding message in every communication with customers and prospects.
What communications? Your business cards, invoices, website, media advertising, vehicle signage and your “elevator speech” all should incorporate your competitive advantages, especially if you can state them in an attractive, memorable manner.
Every member of your staff should know, understand and be able to communicate your competitive advantages and know why they are important. Your customers, especially your best customers and referral sources, should know your branding message and competitive advantages so they can become cheerleaders for your company.
Taking advantage of competitive advantages doesn’t happen in a flash of brilliance. It happens over a long period of repetitive marketing just like taking advantage of a mismatch on the football field – as Woody Hayes used to say, “Three yards and a cloud of dust!”