Posted by Charles Contreras, TCC Solutions Partner

As the temperature gets colder and the leaves fall, business leaders start wrapping up the year and thinking about preparing for the next. However, it is easy to get caught up with working “IN” your business, dealing with urgent needs. But this is the ideal time to also work “ON” your business.

When working ON your business, some fundamental questions leadership should consider are “Why do clients buy from us?” and “What is our competitive advantage?”  If these answers are not clear and obvious, all other planning activities will be a struggle.

Clarity on your competitive advantage is a game changer. It provides laser focus, aligns efforts, and prevents mistakes that take your eye off the prize – your business success.  It helps your clients understand “why” they buy from you and why they can’t buy the same thing from your competition. When these reasons aren’t obvious and compelling to your clients, the only thing that differentiates you is price.

If you have been in business for several years, you likely have a competitive advantage. It just might need to be dusted off, polished up, clarified and strengthened.  So how do you gain clarity around and strengthen your competitive advantage?

The first step is to ask your clients; “Why do you buy from me/us?” and “Would you recommend me/us to others? This exercise always sheds light on what you are doing well and what you need to shore up. We can help you monitor and track client satisfaction on regular basis through our NPS Tool.

There is also a lot of value in knowing “what you are not”.  Take some time to list your organizational weaknesses. Talk to your clients and have them help you identify areas of improvement and then make a plan to improve.

Secondly, knowing what your employees think about your organization will also be an important part of the planning process. They will know what the true strengths and weaknesses of your organization. The Pulse Check will provide you employee perceptions on about seven key areas including strategy, management, culture and leadership.

You can also strengthen your competitive advantage by thinking about your organizational strengths. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of your organization as a person. A person has natural talents and therefore, potential. But it is not until that person purposely develops and puts those talents to use, that those talents become strengths. The same thing applies to your organization. So, what are your organizational talents that could become strengths? How will you develop those talents into strengths?

Finally, the most powerful part of this process is being able to clearly communicate your competitive advantage and your priorities to your managers, staff and clients. This will align efforts and increase employee engagement, resulting in increased efficiencies and profitability.

If you need help identifying your competitive advantage or want to know more about our tools to help your organization, contact me for a free consultation.  To learn more about TCC Performance Consulting please visit our website





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