Most people think of marketing strategy, brand identity, and similar topics when they hear the term “competitive advantage.” While these may be relevant, it is important to also dig a little deeper. See, running your business can also be considered a competitive advantage because your competitors have no way of knowing what you are going to do next. To take advantage of this edge, you may need to readjust your thinking.
Are You Stuck in a Rut?
It is easy to get in the habit of following best practices blindly because you know they work, but then you may miss out on learning practices that are actually better. Just because something works or has worked for a long time does not mean that it can’t be improved upon. When you do not allow yourself to look beyond what is right there in front of you, you start to become predictable and lose your competitive edge.
Change Your Way of Thinking
The simplest and fastest way to gain your competitive edge is to change your way of thinking. Once again, this means you need to be open to new ideas. You have probably been told that you need to use social media. If you already dabble, you may feel you need to do more. Someone may have also told you that you should start a blog as well as make a point to update your site frequency, so it looks fresh to search engines.
These are all great ideas, but if they are not executed correctly and if there is not a commitment to maintain these tactics then they will do nothing to help you gain a competitive edge.
Make the Most of Your Website
It may seem strange, but in all fairness your website should be looked at as an employee. You need to make it work for you. Achieving enterprise power is easy in today’s world thanks to Salesforce, Constant Contact, FreshBooks, and other cloud applications. Without being forced to install or maintain any software these tools simplify invoicing, accounting, CRM, and project management. To make the most of these applications though you need to learn how to turn your site into a business hub and integrate your cloud into your workflow.
If you are not using cloud applications yet, it is recommended to try a few before you commit. Some offer free plans that you can upgrade should you decide to stick with that application. There are also some that at least offer a free trial. When you are ready to commit, integrate them with your site. When cloud applications are utilized properly you end up with higher margins, lower costs, smarter workflows, and more efficient processes.