Steps to Sustainable Competitive Advantage
No business lacks competition. This explains why competitors are always the main threats of any company in the world. It is on this account that even top 10 companies on Forbes List still worry about their competitors, strategizing to outshine them in the market. The secret of excelling in business is having a competitive advantage that is sustainable. This article explores different steps to sustainable competitive advantage, which every company ought to consider, to maintain and expand its market base.
Competitive advantage happens when a player in the market develops attributes, which help it outperform its competitors. Some of these attributes could be things like access to natural resource or access to highly skilled and experienced personnel. In addition, new technology has become today’s determinant of competitive advantage in the market. On the other hand, sustainable competitive advantage implies that you have made it hard for your competitors to match up to your game. Therefore, you remain ahead of them in terms of market share. How then can an organization develop this kind of competitive advantage? Here are the steps:
Simple steps to sustainable competitive advantage
While steps to sustainable competitive advantage may vary from company to company, the first step that will guarantee you sustainable edge over your competitors is scanning the environment. Also called environmental scan or situation analysis, this step allows you understand the market better as you get to know the events around your brand.
From this scan, you will be able to know what your target market values since the basis of having a niche in the market is meeting and surpassing the expectations of the customers. This will make them loyal and give them no reason to turn to your competitors offering the same products or related to what you are doing.
Environmental scan also helps you understand your competitors in terms of what they offer and their strategies. This will place you in a better position to develop attributes that are unrivalled in the market. Lastly, situation analysis helps the company understand the economy better. Prevailing and future economic conditions will determine the success of your business even in the absence of competitors.
Satisfying Customers for sustainable competitive advantage
When mastering steps to sustainable competitive advantage, you must focus on the needs of your customers. The second step that will put you miles ahead of your competitors in the market is developing superior product quality. Superior products make a brand to stand tall in the marketplace. To achieve this, your product must offer solutions to the needs of the customers with a lot of ease. For example, focus on the usability of your products. Consumers should be able to use your goods without difficulty. Other factors, which determine quality, are ease of cleaning, features, and ease of set-up among others.
One of the companies that have scored high in meeting consumer quality is Apple. This explains why most of its brands command premium prices in the market with higher sales more than its competitors in the industry.
Summary of steps to sustainable competitive advantage
Once you have superior products and understand the market environment, superior customer service will hand your market dominance. There is too much at stake with customer service that it can break or make a business. Good customer service reminds customers of how you value them. It is treating your clients with respect and dignity. Be ready to respond to their enquiries promptly and satisfactorily.
Minus proper choice of business location, the above steps to sustainable competitive advantage may not work to your advantage. Where is your business located? How accessible are you? Location is key in the market. Your business location should be safe such that customers do not worry about their security when they come shopping.
Attract and keep people – Do not just attract customers to purchase your products. Have business attributes that will make first-time customers visit you again. This is important because people are the heart of a thriving business. Besides keeping loyal customers, have reliable labor. Reward your workers and you will attract brightest brains in the market.
Lastly, have good reputation. Reputation is everything in business. This single word will guarantee you competitive advantage. No customer wants to associate with brand that has bad repute in the market.
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