Every executive and business owner wants to know how to gain competitive advantage, yet few do. So how do you gain the competitive advantage that makes some companies super successful while most others are just struggling to get by?
A quick Google search offers about 13 million answers to this question. Most answers on the first couple of pages talk about strategy. Others offer a few quick tips that will help you stand out by improving efficiency or customer service. Still others offer a multi-step path to success.
Do I think these answers are incorrect? Of course not. But there is another crucial component- what I believe is the most crucial component- involved in gaining competitive advantage.
You can craft the most spectacular strategy that's ever been crafted, but that strategy will be useless without execution. You can read about all the steps you should take to give your business competitive advantage, but if you don't take action and follow those steps again and again and again, they won't do you a bit of good.
I believe that a company's processes are what set them apart from their competition. Think about it. On some level, every organization and every business operates in the same exact way. Each organization is based on processes. The process might be as simple as prioritizing your morning emails or as complex as planning a large conference with hundreds of guests and multiple vendors and speakers. In both cases, you follow a series of steps in a certain order to achieve a desired result.
But obviously, the process of prioritizing your morning emails is likely to run a whole lot more smoothly than the process of planning a large event.
When you're prioritizing your email, there's only one person involved (you), so there's no need to worry about breakdowns in communication and delays in completing the task at hand. You can execute this process about as efficiently as possible.
On the other hand, the process of planning an event involves coordinating dozens of tasks between many people both inside and outside of your organization.
If you prioritize your email every morning, you're less likely to make mistakes, making the process more accurate. It's more than likely that you won't plan a large event more than once or twice a year, making it nearly impossible to remember everything you did last time to make the event run smoothly.
Prioritizing your email takes a matter of minutes, while planning a large event will take several months, if not longer.
If you could execute your event planning process as flawlessly and efficiently as your morning email routine, you would save tons of time and frustration. You could even use that time you saved to add in extra components to your event, like a robust speakers packet, or an executive report to show your senior management the ROI of the event. I call extras like these "Secret Sauce." Once you've made your processes as accurate and efficient as possible, you'll have time to build in that extra "secret sauce."
Process with Accuracy, Efficiency and Secret Sauce are the driving force that gives an organization competitive advantage. I call this the AESS Method (this is pronounced ACE- since I made it up, I can dictate the pronunciation).
Webinar Recording: How to Use Process as a Competitive Advantage
If you're interested in learning how to apply the AESS Method to your organization, check out the webinar I presented, How to Use Process As a Competitive Advantage (no registration required).
If you think your processes are fine because mistakes are rare, think again. In every industry, internal processes are the single most untapped source of improved profitability and competitive advantage. In this webinar, we’ll show you how to become one of those mind-blowing organizations you only read about in magazines. You know the type. They have more referrals than they can handle and they are achieving best-in-class bottom line results. We’ll provide plenty of tips and tricks and the content will be relevant to every industry and every profession. If your competition watches this webinar and you don’t, you have been warned.
What you’ll learn:
- 3 components that your process must have
- How to differentiate your business and generate buzz
- Tips and tricks for delivering excellent customer service