What is a Competitive Edge in Business?

Every business must know who and what their competition is in business. If a business doesn’t know what a competitor is offering it has no way of understanding how to present a value proposition to its customers.

In order of being seen as having a competitive advantage the business must offer some things the competitors don’t. Therefore, understanding what your competition does well and does not do well is as important as what your strengths and weaknesses may be.

Todays’ customers educate themselves before deciding on whom to do business with. Customers compare products, prices, services, marketing/sales approach, location, timeline and perceived value of each. A business must understand all the potential reasons you a customer would decide to go with the competition.

An important part of understanding your competitive edge is being certain as to who exactly your competitors are. They often are not one of your known counterpart businesses. For example, if the business sells technology consulting the competition could range anywhere from a small website development firm to a Fortune 1000 technology giant depending on the size of the project. Very large corporations often subcontract out to many small vendors making sure they are not over committed financial to any one large firm.

Most businesses are quick to share their strengths — what they do better than anyone in their space. However, too often this is an assumption rather than a proven fact having not researched the competition accurately enough. This gets to the importance of competitive intelligence. What exactly is your competition doing that you should know about and keep ahead of?

Competitive intelligence can take a real bite out of a business’ bottom line without any payback if it is not done appropriately. Crayon.co has mastered this with a software product that every business can afford, or better said, cannot not afford, as it is the only sure way to securing the competitive advantage.

If your competition is adding product, changing product, changing pricing, adding services, changing leadership, hiring, firing, writing white papers, doing podcasts, making the news — online or print — you better know about it. Why? Because your customer, and/or potential customer, knows exactly what the businesses he is considering are doing.

Every business can have the competitive edge by focusing on competitive intelligence and presenting a sure-fire value proposition at every sale.