“IF you always do what you have always done,
you will always get what you have always got”.
Unfortunately, that’s not true anymore. Certainly not in business. All
businesses operate in a dynamic environment and competition is fierce. It gets harder and harder to compete with each passing day.
Your competitors would like nothing more than to take your customers from you. The ever-increasing competition cause standards to rise and customer expectations get higher all the time. This means that, if you always do what you have always done, you will steadily lose out to your competition. Eventually forcing you out of business.
It’s a case of keep up with the flow or get out of the traffic. To just survive in
business, you need to continuously increase the amount of value you add for your customers. If you want your business to prosper, you need a winning edge that makes you stand out among your competitors. Your winning edge must give existing and potential customers a good reason to do business with you instead of your competitors, and the reason must be compelling, ie, represent a significant benefit for the customer for you to prosper in the long term.
This means your business must have a sustainable competitive advantage.
Businesses with a winning edge use established operators in their industries as role models. But carbon copies are never as good as the original. If your going to use an existing business model, you have to plan for a way to stand out from all the others. It has to not just be a transformation on the surface, but benefits for your customers that allow you to stand apart from the rest. Otherwise, you become a “Me Too” operator.
This kind of business is often only marginally profitable and the quality of the customers is often not good. Doing business just like everyone else is hard, making you a marginal operator. Furthermore, serving this market puts you in a tenuous position. Marginal operators are the first to be wiped out when there is a downturn in the market.
Building a competitive advantage is the main thrust of strategic planning. Most business owners never get around to strategic planning and limit themselves to an operational focus in their businesses. This operational focus and a failure to think strategically are the main reasons for the appallingly high business failure rate. Don’t be a failing statistic!
Your business can be a winner if you make the effort to develop a strategy
and implement it systematically. A strategic plan will give you a good chance of achieving your potential and turning your business vision into reality.
This post is a chapter from a recent report I wrote; Business 101 It’s not just for newcomers, but experienced veterans. It reminds us of the things we should be doing, not the things we want to do… You can get this report free as a member of 1 Modern Solution http://www.1modernsolution.com Just visit the Library.