You when you analyse your business, what are the paradigms that you need to break in order to get ahead?
What will be the thing that propels your business onto a different playing field?
If you are doing the same things as everyone else, you cannot hope to do much better than your competitors. You may be able to carve out small advantages but nothing too significant.
For professional services, it might be the relationship between revenue and time.
For a manufacturer, it might also be that relationship between revenue and labour. You could perhaps look at a greater degree of automation.
But that’s what everyone else will do too, you may say.
And that is true. So, an advantage of that type might be initially spectacular but ultimately short-lived.
You will almost certainly need to innovate to differentiate. You will need to analyse your business from an innovation perspective. To have something that is (or appears to be) different to what your competitors can offer. And importantly, it must be something that your customers will value. Think about making it better, cheaper, more accessible and/or easier to use. Then market the hell out of it.
Now, here’s the thing about innovation.
It never stops. It is an iterative process. Because if you do well, competitors will copy. But that’s ok because you have already innovated again. Always one or two steps ahead.
So, what do you do if you are lagging behind an innovative competitor? Well, there is no shame in copying a good example. But that’s playing catch up, and hoping that they stop and wait for you.
I would argue that you need to aim further ahead. Don’t run to the market-leader’s position, run to a point much further down the road. Where is your market going to be in 5 and 10 years’ time? Run to that place. That will require true innovation, not mere incremental change.
I hope this article stimulates your creative thinking but if you’re still struggling to access your creative side, it could be that you’re too close to it. The old thing saying about wood and trees comes to mind. If that’s your situation, I would be happy to bounce around some ideas with you on how to analyse your business and see if that helps to get you going in the right direction. Give me a call on 1300 656 141 anytime or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
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