Success in business is a lot like sports when it comes to competitive advantages
Competitive advantages are the things that allow a company or organization to outperform its competitors in the marketplace of products, services and even ideas. These advantages can take on many forms from brick and mortar facilities to more intangible things like an organization’s reputation and customer base.
Your competitive advantage may touch all aspects of your art business from creating your art to billing the customer. There are a lot of things that go into competitive advantage and it is well worth the time to determine the competitive advantages for your art business. Think of your competitive advantages as your “secret sauce”!
Competitive advantages are not permanent. The business and competitive environment is always changing and it appears that the speed with which things change is becoming more rapid. With the internet and an age of instant information it doesn’t take too long for competitors to see what each other are up to and change their game accordingly.
A basic part creating your business and marketing plan is conducting what is called a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. SWOT analysis is a staple in most business programs but I bet you didn’t hear much about it in art school. The first part of conducting a SWOT analysis is doing an inventory of you or your firm’s business strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths are areas which you can capitalize on, they help identify your competitive advantages and provide ideas on how to market your brand. Weaknesses are areas on which you need to improve and they may be a hindrance to your success and growth – either fix your weaknesses or figure out some way to get around them. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses in order to develop effective strategies for your business. Continue reading →