The Competitive Advantage: 5 Tips to Gain the Edge

competitive edge

Business today is in flux and transition, offering great opportunities for smart organizations and business leaders to gain a competitive advantage.

The economic downturn, layoffs and forced restructurings have driven many businesses into survival mode. They are scrambling to hold things together, focusing on immediate needs and urgencies. Vision, long term planning and strategic positioning have gone by the wayside. For the alert business leader, this opens the gate to gain a significant competitive advantage. How can you capitalize on this? Consider the following five simple tips:

  1. Look ahead. What will the business world look like in two to three years? What about your industry? What will you customers look like? What will they need? Develop your best educated guess. Then take action now and position strategically to meet that future need.
  2. Strengthen your structure. Where are the weak spots in your organization or your processes? Address them now. Prepare for growth and change. You cannot compete effectively and gain the advantage if your structure is already compromised.
  3. Keep options open. Be able to respond quickly. Change is occurring at an ever-increasing pace. The advantage goes to the individuals and organizations which are able to seize short-lived opportunities.
  4. Invite ideas. Solicit observations and suggestions from your team, vendors and customers. Take advantage of their different perspectives. Often, those closest to the action have the keenest insights. Your staff and business network are resources. Take advantage of them and finesse the competition.
  5. Create with what you have. The business world of decades ago is not returning. The old structures and ground rules are things of the past. Younger employees have different expectations. Life is moving at a different pace. Today’s business won’t fit into yesterday’s box. Accept the realities of today, and use them to create a business in tune with current markets and customers.

The marketplace is tough. But for alert business leaders, opportunities are abundant. Use your resources, plan strategically and claim and gain your competitive advantage.


3 Responses to The Competitive Advantage: 5 Tips to Gain the Edge

  1. Bill Hubbell May 10, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Good simple insights that apply to any service or product business. One key statement that each business leader must recognize is that the old business models are not coming back. Excellent point. Embrace change. I would add the suggestion to look for which new technologies in your industry will be the ones to survive and make the greatest impact – particularly from customer’s perspective.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Ellen Huxtable
      Ellen Huxtable May 11, 2016 at 3:47 am #

      Thanks for your comments, Bill. Time has moved on, and trying to go back isn’t going to work. I very much agree with you; there are so many emerging technologies, it is far better to look toward the future, and which technologies will be key, than trying to force things back into the old boxes. Appreciate your insights!


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