Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's your Competitive Advantage?

Competitive Advantage is defined as” superiority gained by a firm when it can provide the same value as its competitors but at a lower price, or can charge higher prices by providing greater value through differentiation”. Even though the origin of this concept is clearly geared towards businesses this can also can be applied to individuals also.  

When we are brought into this world we are given a unique set of fingerprints that we can proudly say one else has.  Our fingerprint sets us apart from the rest of the 6,899,691,091 people in the world.  Now having a different set of fingerprints can sometimes give you a competitive advantage towards things but I want to dig deeper into how an individual can develop their own competitive advantage regardless of what arena they are in.  After researching this concept I’ve come up with a simple two step process that will get your moving in the right direction.  

Note: Developing a competitive advantage is not an overnight process it take a lot of thought, trial, and error to get this down cold.  If you think that you will gain this only after one try you are sadly mistaken.  I'm not saying this to be mean or cold but I care enough about my readers not to set them up for failure. 

Step One - Research what you need to know to get into the game.  Always remember you can never gain an advantage over something if you don't know what's originally required.  For example, if you are taking classes at a university it's standard for you to pass your classes. If you are at a job it's required of you to show up for work on time and do your job in order to get paid. This sounds pretty straight forward but you will be surprise on how many people miss this concept.  When I was younger I totally missed this concept and was going though life not knowing what was required of me to just to get into my field.  There's a wealth of resource like the World Wide Web, periodicals, and people that will give you a better understanding of what's required of you to be on the same playing field as your competitors.

Step Two - Develop a plan to enhance what you learned from your research.  Take what you have learned and take it to another level.  Do more than what’s required and this will give you the competitive advantage that you are looking for.  97 percent of the world is going to only do what they need to do to get by.  Position yourself into the 3 percent that go beyond the call of duty with everything they do.  This will give you the competitive advantage that you are seeing.  Let's take the examples that I explain in step one and enhance them to gain a competitive advantage.

School - Of Course getting good grades are required of you in school however take the time to build strong relationships with your professors and classmates beyond the initial class that you are in.  You never know what advantages you will have in the future if you take the time to gain a better understanding of your professors and classmates now.  

Work – Regardless of the position that you are in showing initiative to do more at your job will separate you from your fellow co-workers.  I’m not saying spending more time a work then you do at home but start look at things in your job description and figure out how you can make those better.  Improving on what’s currently there will give you a leg up and will in most cases shed more positive light on you when review time comes around.

Developing a competitive advantage for yourself can make the difference between you leading the pack and following behind it.  Where do you want to be?

No comments:

Post a Comment