Establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage in times of stability and uncertainty is the cornerstone of business longevity. The absence of a competitive advantage renders many businesses indistinguishable, relegating them to relative obscurity.
At the same time, businesses cannot take for granted that the original competitive advantage(s) that helped launch a concept will withstand the test of time and provide the same tangible benefits that it did in its defining moments five, 10 or 25 years ago.
Instead, it is essential for any business leader to monitor the core elements that define the business’ competitive advantage, evaluate their ongoing relevance and appropriately modify practices and procedures to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. As part of this effort, it will be necessary for company leadership to consider the impact of industry and/or general market forces as well as how the skill sets of the team contribute to the evolution process.
In general, businesses should consider specific and strategic questions related to their industry, including:
- What is the overall growth of the sector, both in terms of competitors in the space and consumer/B2B consumption of the product or service?
- What competitive forces are at play, and how is the landscape changing?
- What impact is technology having now and in the near term?