Gaining a competitive advantage is a result of a combination of planning and actions based on your business’ market. They include defining your brand, knowing your competition, identifying your customer preferences, and understanding your personal preferences. However, knowing isn’t enough. You must go one step further, and write your strategy for gaining the advantage and how you plan to remain unique. Recording your thoughts and ideas now will help you plan for the future, including visiting your local resource partner for more personalized assistance.
Here are some starting points to think over:
- What makes you unique? Define what makes your business unique to consumers, and how it is different from your competition.
- Are you, or will you be, consistent? You should try to convey the same message and visual branding for all advertising and marketing. Do you currently have a consistent brand and message? How do you convey that consistency to your customers and how can you improve?
- Do you know your competitors? There are many ways to assess your competitors. You should plan on researching your competitors.
- Why are you attracted to some businesses and not others? Ultimately, businesses provide products and services to customers. Is it their prices, products, services, customer service, social relationships, values, etc.? The factors are unlimited, but identifying them may help you and your business develop a strategy.
- Develop your businesses strategy. If you have come this far, you have a lot of useful information to develop your businesses strategy. How will you be different? Will you be price sensitive? Will customers find you conveniently? Will your products be reliable or innovative? Review the two case studies in the course, and write your own solution in the space below. Be concise and specific. If you’re still not sure, you can always meet with one of SBA’s many resource partners for one-on-one counseling using this worksheet as a starting point.