Building A Strategic Competitive Advantage

  • June 17, 2019
  • By Aidan Dwyer

As a business owner, there is no special secret, no silver bullet to be successful in your industry. There is only innovation and strategy. But innovation and strategy can be sharpened into making your business stand out above others. In fact, the trick is finding what makes you unique and doubling down to carve out your industry niche.

Strategic Competitive Advantage

The base of all successful businesses is a strategic competitive advantage. Strategic competitive advantage is some aspect of your business that you dominate the competition at. Hence, it is something that defines your business and can not be easily copied.

You may still be asking yourself, “what does a strategic competitive advantage look like?” Let’s take a look at the fast-food industry. When you think of the fast-food chain with the best customer service what do you think of? “My Pleasure” is the hint. Friendly employees and stellar customer service of Chick-Fil-A make it known. Their service is too good. Customers do not mind paying the premium surcharge for their food, compared to companies such as McDonald’s or Burger King.

Excellence in customer service helps create Chick-Fil-A’s substantial fan base and bring back returning customers. There is no other business in the fast-food industry that comes close to Chick-Fil-A’s level of customer service.  Chick-Fil-A has established itself through its strategic competitive advantage in customer service.

Of course, building a strategic competitive advantage based on your company’s customer service may not be the best option specifically for you. Another important factor customers care about is convenience. Continuing with our look into the fast-food industry, what restaurant comes into mind when you think of convenience.

You probably don’t need a hint for this one; Golden Arches are everywhere. McDonald’s, above all else, has cornered the market on convenience, using its speedy service model and (more importantly) its ubiquity. Built on its minutes or less’ service model, the burger company became the pioneer for drive-thru fast food.

Today, McDonald’s has by far the largest amount of restaurants in the country. They have strategically placed them. In the continental United States, you can find a McDonald’s restaurant within a 25-mile radius. For a quick and convenient stop for food, while traveling. One can find them along highways and many locations in airports and train stations. McDonald’s vast size is something that would take another fast-food franchise years to try to catch up to. Therefore, giving them a strategic competitive advantage inconvenience.

Building a Strategic Competitive Advantage

Although, building a strategic competitive advantage that will put you ahead of your competition is a long and grueling process. You may ask yourself, “What is my competitive advantage?” The short answer is that it is a strategy in which you dominate and set yourself apart from your competition. The actual answer, there is no definition. Competitive advantages vary greatly from one another. Its base will be both what your business excels at and what your industry lacks. Building your strategic competitive advantage is a constant battle of mixing innovation into proven methods that will work.

Before you start planning out and building on your competitive advantage, you must first set your end goal. What is the finish line you are trying to cross with your business?  Do you want to sell a product that will change the world? Do you want to revolutionize an already established industry? No matter what you come up with as your end goal. There is one question that you have to ask yourself. This is what is my business good at and how can I capitalize on it. Your strategic competitive advantage could be almost anything depending on what industry you are in. Customer service, convenience, price, quality, are just a few that you could design your business to dominate in.

No matter, what you decide to set your strategic competitive advantage in. There is always one constant. It will require patience, time, and money to see the full effects of your competitive advantage. Here at REIL Capital, we want to help your business reach its full potential. To find out how we can assist you in gaining working capital towards your strategic competitive advantage. Fill out our commitment free application here:


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