What is Your Unfair Advantage?
Many ideas can be copied so how you execute the idea becomes important in having something that your competitors can’t do that very easy. Do you have code that is smaller? Is your format of your project easier to use? Can you deliver the product in an easier way? (e.g. Video store vs Netflix) It can be price, delivery method, customer support, etc.
Some Unfair Advantages (non-exhaustive list)
Can you deliver the product faster?
- Faster product development for services that offer product development (e.g. software or hardware design)
- Shipping methods (e.g. air shipping, dedicated shipping trucks, cut through traffic with bike delivery boys)
- Better confirmation times (e.g. some companies take a lot of time to process paperwork while others are faster)
- Can you get your service people to a project faster than competitors
- Can you provide 24/4 phone or internet customer service
- Can you provide customer support that speaks the native language
- Can you provide support that knows how to work with the information they need to know? (some customer support lines don’t know the hardware specs enough to fix the problem and are reading off a script)
- How helpful are the customer support agents?
- Do the customer support agents have the authority to fix problems well enough?
- Do you actually show up on time for your gig? (e.g. gardeners, landscapers, musicians)
Does your company focus on fixing one problem vs a wide variety of problems? This laser tight focus keeps companies from scope creeping on their own projects. This allows for all resources to be directed at the problem instead of too spread out. Google is a great example of this. Their main focus is on search engine technologies. This enabled them to be top dogs in their market.
The Creative Minds
Some companies have certain geniuses behind the product that are the unfair advantage. Let’s say your company had Nikoli Tesla while the other company had no name engineer. That would be a massive advantage. You tend to pay good money for this talent but it is worth it when your product or service is so much better than the competitors.
Maybe you have someone well known working for your company. This can be a massive advantage in credibility and popularity.
Communities generate a lot of power for the people running them. This enables them to get the word out and to have tons of credibility. Sometimes you buy a company just for the user base it has built up. This community can help infuse your projects with a lot of new customers. This is common in a lot of different markets. Sometimes engineering companies get bought so that they have more customer base to work with or a different variety. Sometimes a company is bought out so that the public customers will see or use their product. So it happens in both the public and professional worlds.
Sometimes it is the experience of a partner that drives success. Experience is very valuable to a company. It drives credibility, stability, and success. It allows for less waste and more innovative solutions that are more likely to work.
You Know the Customer Better
Some companies have the will and power but lack the intricate knowledge or plight of those they sell to. Knowing who and how to sell to your customer is very important. Some want to be taken more seriously while others may want more entertainment and casualness.
Larger Production Warehouses
Can you hold more stock than your competitors?
Does your company have way more buying power than any other companies in order to get much lower costs? (e.g. Walmart)
Lower production costs
Do you have a way to produce your product substantially lower than competitors?
Earth Friendly aka Green Products and Services
Is your product much different where it can be delivered much cleaner?
is your company faster to react to situations than a big behemoth that may take ages to get new policies created and enforced?
Better Turn Around Time
Can you develop a project faster than anyone else?
Lower Cost of Price
Is your product or service cost much lower than competitors without sacrificing too much value?