Merchandise, services and prices should remain consistently true to your original business concept while keeping a competitive edge without underselling your company. Although your primary focus is always on your own business, being aware of any competitor's activities gives you that edge in adjusting your business to better serve the consumer, thereby surpassing the competition. Proximity, hours, products, services, policies, price, sales, employees, and treatment of customers or clients are all components of your competitor's business, which could make a difference in the long-term operations of your company.
Following these basic rules will help you keep a competitive edge:
- goods and services must meet customer/client expectations;
- convenient location and hours of operation;
- competitive prices;
- add new or auxiliary related products and services;
- monitor sales of specific products and services.
Another key ingredient in keeping your competitive edge for both daily operations and expansion is customer/client input. Evaluate their comments, suggestions and desires with respect to current and future business. A consumer's idea today may be your competitive edge for tomorrow.
To help you make a comprehensive assessment of your "Competitive Edge", SCORE, A Resource Partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers free confidential one-on-one business counseling with experienced executives plus a day long monthly Workshop for a nominal fee. For the location, phone number and counseling hours of the office nearest you, call our main Dallas SCORE Office at (214) 987-9491.