“Come visit our spa! We have massage, facials and waxing all under one roof.”
Does this advertisement sound familiar to you? Unfortunately, we see ads like this all too often because the business owner does not understand what their Competitive Advantages are and more importantly how to communicate them.
A Competitive Advantage is simply something that makes you better than the clinic down the road. Some call it an ‘edge’, others call it a ‘brag list’ call it what you want, but if you don’t understand what your business competitive advantages are then you are already losing business to those who do.
How to discover your businesses’ competitive advantages? We begin by setting a few guidelines.
- It must be objective, not subjective. For example, “You should do business with me because my clients love me” is subjective. “You should do business with me because my clients love that I host client appreciation nights once a month” is objective.
It must be quantifiable, not ambiguous. For example, “Our clients have been coming to us for years” is not quantified. “95% of our clients have been coming to us for 5 years” is specific and quantified.
Your competition cannot make the same claim. For example, “We offer massage, facials & waxing all under one roof” is a common claim. “We offer Award Winning and Life-Changing Professional Skin Revision Treatments” is a claim very few if any competitors can make.
Now that we have the guidelines, here is activity on how to identify your business competitive advantages. Follow steps 1-3 to discover your competitive advantages:
First, create a brag list (following the guidelines above) of all the things you do well, from marketing, operations, treatments, services, communication, etc. What’s something your business is the first at? What’s something unique about your business or something you can be best at? Try to avoid things that can be copied relatively easily.
You literally cannot have too many items listed- brag away!
01. Last year completed 1,000 Professional Skin Revision Treatments.
02. We only offer professionally prescribed skin revision products that are not available online.
03. We were recently voted “Best Day Spa in our City”
04. We are open 7 days a week.
05 You can book treatments online 24/7
06. We are conveniently located next to Highway 123
Second, make a list of all the things your competitors do well. In order to understand what your advantages are, you need to understand what your competition does well.
Example: Your competition may also have won awards or offer similar treatments & services, or they may also be located near Highway 123.
Once you identify what your competition does well; cross out the items that you and your competition share. Example- you both may be located near Highway 123 and both have won awards for ‘Best Spa in our City’
Just because you share something similar to your competition does not mean you stop offering that service or claim but because someone else can make the same claim, it is not a competitive advantage.
Third, make a fresh list of the items that were not crossed off the list and any other items that come to mind that your competition does not claim. This list of claims is now your competitive advantage. Examples: Last year completed 1,000 Professional Skin Revision Treatments. We only offer professionally prescribed skin revision products that are not available online. We are open 7 days a week.
The activity below should be done once a year and real savvy business owners identify what your customers want and how to match your competitive advantages to their needs.
Drew Coleman is the Vice President of Education & Sales for DMK International. His professional passion is to help business owners maximize their potential by benchmarking and identifying growth opportunities. His 17-year career has been dedicated to helping businesses grow and loves the esthetics industry because of the passionate business owners he works with every day.