How would you like to have an advantage over your competitors?

Sustainable competitive advantageFor most industries the market is relatively constant. Think of a pie chart. The pie doesn’t really get much bigger. All that changes is the slice of the pie you manage to grab. Keeping more of the pie longer will see record success.

When you see the world like this then you realise just how critical it is to have a competitive edge.

Today I want to share with you a way of developing a business edge that most companies are completely blind to. The good thing about finding a edge that your competition are blind to is that they can’t simply copy it. They can’t really see what you are doing to steal their share, so they can’t emulate it.

Sustainable Competitive Edge

A business edge isn’t enough. Keeping your advantage is what matters. And to keep ahead, you really need a strategy that your competitors can’t see.

Features Based Competitive Advantage

This is where most companies look for their competitive advantage. Companies spend millions adding new features to their product portfolio, to try and give their product an edge.

The trouble is that not all new features are valued by the customer. In fact additional features can sometimes have the opposite effect on customers.

The other problem with feature based strategy is that it is easy to see and copy. Within ten minutes of you launching your new phone, your competitors have it in their office and stripped to bits. It comes un stuck pretty quickly.

So if you are trying to gain a competitive advantages with features then I’m afraid it’s unsustainable.

Compete with Pricing

When economic times are tough, selling is difficult so sellers try and win business (and market share) by dropping our price. Pricing is not a good strategy. The reason we do this is because it’s easy. It requires no imagination. But it’s not innovative. The world rewards the innovative.

The problem is that it’s extremely transparent and very short term, so your competition can see it immediately. And it’s very easy to copy. With one email, your competitors can match your price.

So What should you do?

Where does your company spend most of its money?

With very few exceptions, the answer is “on salaries”. Typically businesses spend on average between 38% to 50% of expenditure on salaries. If you are a service based company or an office full of employees then it could be as high as 90%.

Whatever way you look at it, we spend a ton of money every month on salaries.

If you can get better results from your employees than your competitors get, then you have an edge. Attention here is a simple concept. Focus here and you will be more successful.

The interesting thing is that most companies do not believe they can increase the performance or productivity of their people. They believe they need to hire additional people to get additional results.

Two Ways to Increase Productivity that cost next to nothing

  1. The first way to significantly increase productivity and performance (in whatever way you measure it) it to put the right people in the right job. Put talent in roles where they work to their natural strengths and where their weaknesses have little or no impact.This is best done at the recruitment stage. Existing recruitment methods do not attract the right people. If your competitors keep using the traditional recruitment methods and you use advanced techniques, then you are keeping more of the pie.The good thing about this is that your competitors will never understand what you have done, so it is truly sustainable.
  2. Empower your managers with information that lets them manage their staff more effectively.Management decisions are tough. If a manager knows what they need to do to get the best from each employee, then they have a significant advantage over competitors. Great managers achieve exceptional results from ordinary staff. With the Manager Reports, every manager can become a great manager.Your employees are your best shot at differentiation. Creating a culture where their ideas and industry applied to their natural areas will put you on top. Time invested here will lower your staff turnover and costs. They can create a wide gap between your business and the middle of the road sellers.
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