Build your competitive advantage

Mark McCormack
Business Development Manager
Creativedge Training & Development Ltd
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We all know that long-term business success involves creating, managing and exploiting assets and skills that competitors find difficult to match or counter.

Developing this advantage is a continuous process, not a fixed event.

Following an assessment earlier this month by the British Institute for Learning & Development (BILD) Creativedge Training has now secured the BILD Quality Mark (QM) http://www.thebild.org/

We are delighted to have met the strict criteria necessary to secure a QM! Having our operations assessed by a respected company like the BILD comes as part of our continued drive to deliver and meet the highest possible standards of workplace training and learning.

The BILD Quality Mark is fast becoming one of the key Learning and Development industry awards issued by a professional institute focused solely on learning and development. It challenges existing training quality standards by reviewing the policies and processes around the actual training.

Bottom line, by doing so, customers can have greater confidence in the quality of their chosen training provider.

It may be something your company may want to look into! It could make a difference to your brand reputation with existing and prospective clients - and staff- and so build your competitive advantage.

With this in mind, here are 5 top tips to help you develop competitive advantage and build barriers to entry:-

1. Strategic leadership

The top management team serving your company must develop a vision for the organisation, obtain employee commitment to achieving that vision and build effective relationships with key stakeholders (e.g. partners, customer and suppliers). At the same time, management must be a catalyst for change.

A good top team has varied expertise and knowledge. Most importantly, top managers must learn to think in a non-linear manner in order to develop successful strategies when faced with new and possibly contradictory information.

2. Know your marketplace

Provide employees with strong information and decision-support systems that enable them to develop strategies in response to market conditions. Your organisation must have a superior knowledge and understanding of your competitors your customers’ perceptions of your products and services.

Defining or measuring criteria and then interpreting and communicating results, is crucial to the process.

3. Attract and retain people

Businesses must start by investing appropriately to recruit and select top quality employees.

Then they must invest in training and development to continuously build employee skills and develop a corporate culture that promotes loyalty, commitment and engagement.

Finally, employees must be rewarded for their skill development.

4. Develop customer loyalty Every business seeks satisfied customers who return again and again because they trust a company’s product or service.

Their repeat business comes at a much lower cost to you than that of a customer who must be constantly enticed to continue buying.

In addition to working on core product and service attributes to build customer loyalty (such as treating each customer as a valued individual), businesses must work on such issues as instilling a helpful staff attitude, delivering on advertising promises, developing a favourable returns policy and providing accurate product information.

5. Growth strategies

Identify opportunities such as geographic expansion of new target markets that will enable your business to grow.

Enter those markets using the most effective method (e.g. strategic alliance, outsourcing, direct). When risks are high and/or inadequate internal resources are unavailable, search for a partner who can join in developing a cooperative venture.

Select partners with complementary resources and appropriate strategic intent.

Want to read the rest of the Top Tips for Building a Competitive Advantage?

Visit the new Creativedge free mobile App providing immediate, expert management and personal development tips and advice on a range of other management and training issues:-

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/top-10-tips/id796349890?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elixsoft.creativedge

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