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Competitive Advantage of your Business

Be the first or be the best? These two options result in solid foundations to succeed in the market and to achieve a frank competitive advantage of your business.

The most important, in terms of entrepreneurship, is to highlight, and, above all, to create a position of strength in the commercial framework.

Visualize and bring to fruition, a timely idea that allows the company or venture to be the first in the market; not being the first but forging a competitive profile, adapting to changes in the environment, being resilient in the face of crises and creative in the face of adversity, are keys to maintaining that competitive advantage so necessary to distinguish and endure.

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Starting Advantage

It is clear that being the first to go to market is one of the greatest competitive advantages you can have. The first who launches with a business will always have an open path that will allow them to consolidate freely because:

  • This opens a category in terms of products or services.
  • There are no direct competitors because no others offer such products or services.
  • The strategic information that others do not possess.
  • They understand fully the perceptions, interests and needs of customers, which allows for easier customer retention.
  • You can create trusting relationships and maintain them over time.
  • Develop and position the brand in a freer environment to create.
  • It popularizes the brand in such a way that to the general imagination, when the client anticipates a need that has to do with what the business offers, it always reaches the mind of this first than the rest of the ventures.
  • They can handle crisis situations better and with more time.

The first in the market to propose an idea with meaning and take it to the path of reality, will create the need and successfully supply it. This will set a high bar for those who come behind and instantly possess a unique competitive advantage.

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Benefits of not being the first

In a world where most good ideas already have an owner, or were simply already used by someone, it is quite difficult to be the first. But the practice shows that even entering the market of seconds, third parties or more, you can succeed with the right strategies.

In terms of entrepreneurship, not everything is a guarantee. If that business that had the scoop in the market fails, whoever comes after it can learn from their mistakes and turn the previously failed idea into a success.

Even if it does not fail, for those who come behind it is valid to copy. In fact, copying the best is recognized as a smart strategy that works.

Therefore, the second, third or more must:
  • Be inspired by existing business models, which have curdled and succeeded.
  • Achieve a position of strength within the market.
  • Get efficient distributors.
  • Have a work team with multitasking skills and capabilities.
  • Work on the soft skills of the staff who are in front of the clients, with which a difference is made with respect to the treatment.
  • Offer greater and better services guaranteed by quality.
  • Create a profile of excellence.
  • Anticipate changes and take advantage of them.
Adapt to the market

The market is changing, dynamic; in this situation for the first, second or more, staying static is synonymous with failure. You have to evolve along with the environment, adapt to changes, and be creative every time.

That creative vision must be maintained constantly to create strategies for product launches and resilient sales.

A variable to count on for a business to maintain its competitive advantage, is to design and evaluate a crisis strategy in which it can resist or reinvent itself in the event that the market goes faster than the business itself.

Crisis strategy

When human beings are in a time of crisis, they have three options: to be alienated, to resist or to be resilient. In business it happens just the same, except that alienating is not an option if you do not want to cease to exist.

Now, which will be better, resisting or reinventing itself?

Resist: Companies that are not managed under a twenty-first century marketing perspective, usually adopt this solution to try to compete in the market. Their goal is to try to compete “anyway” until the crisis passes. This attitude has an important emotional, economic and professional wear and tear and does not always come out on top.

Reinvent: “failure is part of the path to success”. Under this philosophy, companies that are in a crisis stage must establish a policy of change and innovation. Innovate in their strategies, in their products or services, in their distribution channels, etc. In addition, they have to pay maximum attention to their customers, their sellers and fully adapt to efficient management.

With respect to the above, reinventing yourself should always be the path to choose.

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Forging a Competitive Profile

Achieving a professional status in what the business does is the first step of competitiveness. As entrepreneurs we must master the field in which we develop. This will allow the optimization of the work, which will give us distinction.

Have a brand that identifies the business. Create strategies to improve and position it. Have a different and striking design. Ensure positive user experiences. Locating quality products and services are part of the premises to forge a competitive profile.

And yes, the former already have a guaranteed competitive profile, but this can change if the business does not demonstrate suitability and constantly meets the expectations of its customers.

So it doesn’t matter when you hit the market. What matters most is to establish yourself as a great business, a great company.

How to be a great company?

To be a successful company, a great business, among other points you must:

  • Position yourself successfully.
  • Have a complete and intentional business plan towards excellence.
  • Adequate management of resources.
  • Create partnerships.
  • Create a brand and position it.
  • Provide a positive user experience.
  • Generate profits.
  • Be resilient.
Learn how to maintain your competitive advantage

The attitude of an entrepreneur is the opposite of this phrase: “This is the way we have done things all our lives, and we will continue to do so.” The future of any entrepreneurial business is to know that the maintenance of a competitive advantage has two basic pillars:

  • Innovation. It can derive from the application of a new technology, but also from the use of a new way of managing human resources or customer service.
  • Creativity. Never stop creating, to promote the ideas of the work team no matter how crazy they seem.

So the question remains, to be the first on the market or to be the best? … the world changes very fast. Business models too. But some truths remain, one of them is that in the long run, those who succeed are the good products that adapt to the needs of your customers.

That is why create, innovate, live your venture, put yourself in the shoes of the client, offer a quality service that includes good treatment, the timely smile and the desired product. Meet needs and exceed expectations. No matter when you hit the market, it’s up to you alone to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage over time.

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Paula Omañas is the Marketing Communications Manager for PASconcept. She graduated from FIU with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration double majoring in Marketing and Management.