Strategic vs. Competitive Advantage

As we said in our earlier blog, Strategic Advantage is NOT is just Competitive Advantage. Competition is just one of many considerations that any prudent management team must evaluate.

In most cases, we find our clients have focused most of their analysis on their competitors. When we engage with them, they always ask for the Starting Point for Creating Strategic Advantage. We typically start by asking if they know the answers to the following questions:

  • Your Mission: What is your business mission? Do your specific objectives and goals align with it?
  • Your Market: Will the growth rate change, up or down and if so, what will be the impact?
  • The Economy: What relationship exists with the indices of the economy? Will it change? Up or down? Why?
  • Your Customers: What type of customers do you serve? Do they have any unusual needs? Have their needs changed?
  • Your Competitors: What are your competitors doing? Do you have any new types of competitors? What is the impact?
  • The Industry: Are there any changing technologies that you should know about that affects you? Are there any new business models that will change the way you do business?
  • Your Assumptions: What are the key assumptions that impact your business – now and in the future?
  • The Threats to Your Business: What are the key identified threats to your business and what will be your response?
  • Your New Opportunities: What are the key identified opportunities that you must take advantage – sustainable advantage?
  • Your Resources: How does your company rank in its ability to conceive/design, produce, finance, market and perform? How well do your competitors measure up in matching abilities?
  • Your Contingency Plan: Do you have one? What are your alternate options and the advantages?