Don’t Attack Your Competitors’ Strengths

Are you trying to compete against your competitors’ strengths? Well, if you are and have the resources to do that then maybe you’ll be successful. But there is no guarantee.

Why Not?

If a competitor already has developed strengths that you do not possess, first consider if they are ones you too can develop at a reasonable cost. If not, perhaps you should consider another way to compete. For example, if you were to be in competition with a mass retailer who was known for low prices and you’re much smaller, chances are you will get your lunch eaten if you try to compete on price. The sheer size and sales volume of your competitor who has had the low-price model for a long time makes it nearly impossible to negotiate purchasing costs that will allow you to compete on price.

Another Avenue to Compete

Instead of your competitor’s strength in price, choose something else; service, selection, quality, or anything that is not so strong for our competitor. Identify something you can do very well that may be more difficult for your competitors to duplicate. It is not uncommon for a large operation to fall short in the area of service or product knowledge. For example, if I need something for a home repair and am not sure what I actually need or how to proceed, I may not go to a big-box store but rather a smaller operation whose employees are knowledgeable of what I need and how to proceed. Those smaller companies know they cannot compete on price. Their strengths are service and knowledge, and they have no illusions of taking on their competitors’ strengths.

Every Company Has at Least One Strength

You may be thinking that your company doesn’t have any real strength to use to your advantage. While that’s possible it is unlikely. Think hard. Do you offer superior service, product knowledge, delivery time, return and exchange policies, product choices, flexible service hours, or any number of things?

An Exception

There is a time when you might be able to move in on a competitor’s strengths. It is human nature to become complacent and not continuously improve. That nature plays out in how companies are run. So, say you have been unable to compete with competitors in the area of service. Then, you begin to hear stories of frustrated customers who received poor quality service or who had to wait longer than promised. If you know you can meet the customers’ expectations then that may be a time to move quickly and take advantage of a perceived or real weakness in what historically has been your competitors’ strengths.

So think about. How can you most effectively compete? Are you watching to see when a competitor begins to falter, and are you ready to take advantage of that?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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