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Business Development: How entrepreneurs can gain a Competitive advantage

Developing a competitive advantage over competitors can help an entrepreneur find success in this hard economy. Having a competitive advantage gives a business economic reason to still be operation and is the life line of the business. Therefore, developing a long term competitive advantage should be the most important goal of any organisation.

What is a competitive advantage and why should it matter to you? A competitive advantage is an advantage over competitors gained by offering consumers greater value, either by means of lower prices or by providing greater benefits and service that justifies higher prices.

Here are some of the ways you can go about in gaining competitive advantage.

Target the need of your Customer. Why should each customer buy or use your service? Because they NEED it and it makes their life easier. Aim to create a product or service that is better than your competitors but most importantly that has a target audience and caters for their needs. People who wanted to boil water faster for a cup of coffee or tea embraced the electric kettle. Photographers who needed a platform to expose their work embraced shutterstock, unsplash and Instagram. If you want to achieve success find a target customer base and identify their needs and make your product or service solution better than your competitors.

Cost based approach. You company can get ahead of the competition by offering an eye-catching pricing. Companies like e-bay and amazon have succeeded and have gained a significant competitive advantage by using this strategy. Determining an appropriate price depends on the market and the competitive strategy that the business has selected. Your company using an effective strategic cost based approach to gain a competitive advantage may also prove to be successful.

Focus on service. Sometimes you just have to do what you do better than everyone else. When you do what you do very well, you gain a competitive advantage over those doing it the longer and slower way. Focus on creating a faster, cleaner and more efficient service to get ahead in your industry. If your client delivers a solution in five days and you can do it in three that is your competitive advantage. It’s not enough to be “just as good as” the competition.

Get adequate information. Having adequate information is another important way to get ahead in your industry. Imagine having to work with outdated data, you will therefore provide out dated solutions. Make sure you have enough useful information relevant to your craft and business. Stay on top of any changes that happen in your industry and implement them as quickly as possible.

Differentiate your product and service (Branding). Outlining your unique activities is likely the most widely used method to differentiate one company from another. Find a unique activity that is your core strength that will automatically set you apart from the rest of the pack. Developing this will help you gain a sustainable competitive advantage over your competitors. With this method, a name like Nike or Rolex automatically assumes a status distinct and apart from all other shoes or watches.

Develop your team. A great team will help you get ahead in your industry. Learn how to lead and develop your teams’ effectiveness. The greatest success is achieved as a team, if your team executes better and faster than your competitors, you will win. All successful companies have a great well developed team behind the scenes.

In this aggressive environment, it’s vital that both businesses and individuals work to keep their competitive advantage. Strive to always position yourself ahead of your competition continuously and you’ll succeed as an entrepreneur and as an individual.

What other ways can an entrepreneur or businesses achieve competitive advantage? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.