One of the key outcomes of a Strategic Planning process is that the entrepreneur can focus on what sets them apart from other businesses in the same market. Quite often businesses may be offering similar products or services, hence the need to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the customer by providing value added services.
This can be done by performing different activities from the rivals or performing similar activities in different ways in order to forge an advantage. This will only be possible if the entrepreneur knows their product/service inside out and thoroughly understands what the competitors are doing. What is it that you are offering, who are you catering to and what is your expected position in the market in comparison to your rivals. These are key questions for you to figure out.
It is also crucial that you keep tabs on your customers, whether it’s existing or potential customers in order to ensure that you are able to cater to the constantly evolving needs and provide them with the best possible solutions in comparison to your competitors. What do they think of your product/service? Are they happy with your service levels? Why do they choose to do business with you? Understanding these key things will help you to better tailor your products/services to your customers.
After establishing what your customer base expects of you it will be relatively easy for you to pick and choose the right markets for your business to operate in, giving you the vital head start that you need in establishing a competitive advantage for your business.
Finally, just think about this fundamental question, why should people do business with you? Your competitive advantage lies in the answer!