Meet Jack. He owns a plastics injection molding firm. It serves everybody who wants the product. His business is much the same as his competition. He believes his advantage is customer service. He believes he needs a higher profile. That will help him grow the most.
However, after a customer satisfaction survey, it is clear his business doesn’t have an edge. His business is a ‘me too’ business.
So, his focus needs to be in providing value to his clients in a specific area, something they can’t get elsewhere. He needs competitive advantage, a meaningful innovation – that ‘special sauce.’
Jack has two problems. First, he thinks he has a competitive advantage and doesn’t. Due to the first problem, he has a second – he believes he needs a higher profile, when he really needs to offer value to his customers to keep them coming back, to get them to recommend them, and to bring in even more customers.
Apply this example to your company. First, your firm needs something meaningfully unique. Second, you need objective verification that your business is meaningfully unique. PCW can help you determine whether you have enough objective evidence of customer value.
Also, check out an earlier blog for an successful example of gaining competitive advantage – ‘How to Build a $1 Million Business.’ Or, see the PCW special report on ’14 Sources of Competitive Advantage’ for 10-plus ideas for competitive advantage for your business.
But wait, there is another issue – market growth. If your business is in a growing market, the game is easier. The firm doesn’t need as strong a competitive advantage. People or businesses need your product and services. Even better, more and more people need your products and services. So, you just need to be as good as your competitors to do ok, depending how fast the market is growing. Offering more value than your competitors, though, always helps the company to grow faster.
So, you offer more value to your customers than your competitors. You have objective evidence of this. Or, you are in a growing market. Life is good.
Your business, then, is growing, or it has plateaued. It is profitable. You are in an excellent position to scale up. The next question is: “How do I scale up?” Stay tuned for answers on this and more – and feel free to respond with your comments, questions, ideas and opinions.
Partners Creating Growth works with companies to realize their profitable opportunities. We have considerable experience in generating and selecting innovative ideas; developing and commercializing new products; and connecting to new markets. We offer coaching, strategic planning, market research and financing expertise worldwide to help organizations grow & disadvantaged regions thrive. Contact Tove Rasmussen @ 617-615-6419 or 207-409-7576 Email: Tove@PartnersCreatingGrowth.com