By nature of operating a business, you are assuming that your business can do something better than another. In some cases, the thing that your business can do better than others is take advantage of untapped resources or markets. In any case, businesses thrive when they exploit the things that they do better than others. Smart and successful businesses owners know what they do best and focus on it.
Analyzing what your business does better than your competition is critical to the long term success of your business. You may have to reposition your business in the future to continue take advantage of your advantages.
The first step to analyzing your business is to simply look at what it is that you do well, without comparing to your competition:
- Do you have a proprietary software, process, or technology that gives you an advantage?
- Do you have expertise in your business that is difficult to acquire?
- What do your customers say about your business processes?
- What do your employees say about your business?
- What do the people and businesses you work with think is outstanding about your company?
- Find out what your company does well, and take note.
The next step is to look outward at other companies and examine how they do business. You are undoubtedly aware of your competitors and the way they do things. Look at their processes, products, software (if possible), staff, and facilities. Once you have identified where the strengths in both businesses are, you can begin to focus on the areas where you have a natural advantage.
When examining other businesses (and your own), make sure you remain aware of where the vulnerabilities are. Surviving in the marketplace may depend on your ability to see opportunities to use your strengths to gain market share away from competitors. When choosing or considering a franchise, be sure to examine what the differences are between competitors and weigh them against each other. Seek to find a franchise that capitalizes on your natural strengths, and has the same values.