1. People (relationships)
2. People (doing what's best for the client)
3. Execution (getting the job done, and done well)
In my business it is the relationships that create the business opportunities. Of course executing well on the commitment is a given and creates the sustainable engine for more referrals and references and new opportunities. Utilizing one's capabilities and learning new capabilities in support of the customer's needs round out the distinguishing characteristics.
Reputation - More than 90% of our business is from client referrals. It guided my expansion and let me build a team to keep up.
Structure - Thanks to technology, we are able to create a team atmosphere in a virtual industry and our clients couldn't be happier.
It's going beyond the expected. I think that most businesses forget who their customer is. Build your people and your business will grow. Trust in your people. Know that they may make mistakes but then everyone needs to learn from it. This will give them ownership and instill pride throughout the organization.
Generally or specifically?
In general there are many more than two and it would depend on the industry you are looking at.
Specifically, for me. It's me and my experiences. No one is like any one of us. We all bring our own combination of knowledge and experiences to our businesses. Sometimes its the way we approach a problem, sometime its in our presentation. Sometimes it's in that ultra awesome widget we programmed in our basement that is the equivalent of an easy button!
But what we bring as individuals is what differentiates us from the competition. Some will be drawn to us for that. Others will be drawn to the competition for the same reasons.
The differentiators are different based on who is asking:
a - Employees
i) Treated as associates having a vested interest as well as benefits from the company.
ii) Transparent environment for rewarding, and conflict resolution.
b - Vendors
i) Paid on time and treated as a partner regardless of their business size or sale volume.
ii) Efficient communication and work together to cut out waste and increase mutual margins.
c - Customers
i) Delighted as we make every effort to reduce and /or eliminate the 3Ds (Defects, Delays, and Deviations) in our products, and services to them.
ii) Have confidence in our internal processes that when they speak to anyone, they get the same attention to resolve the issue at the speeds they wish to.
List goes on and on...
Board Members, Partners, Investors etc...
At the foundation of differences will be purpose. The differences will be built on that foundation and the ability of the owner/managers to maintain alignment with that purpose. If decisions are made on purpose, meaning intentionally in line with purpose, you will define the differences between you and your competition. Your customers and employees will feel the difference and know why there is a difference.
Purpose is "why you do what you do". Answer that question and it will affect every area of the business.
1) Truly understanding where your client is coming from; and wanting the best for them (even if it mean recommending someone else).
2) Understanding it's not only what you do but HOW you do it that sets you apart.
Hello Patricia, The two would be:
1) Always convince your customers and not to confuse them
2) If there is a number involved, ensure to fill in the blanks with the right numbers based on your assessment
Actually if you ask Michael Porter (and I must agree with him) is either by: reducing cost or differentiate (quote: Successful differentiation is displayed when a company accomplishes either a premium price for the product or service, increased revenue per unit, or the consumers' loyalty to purchase the company's product or service (brand loyalty)) or third: picking a niche where you will be leader. For more drop me an email.
1.We have heard many horror stories of IT fauxfessionals using network credentials and access to company data as a means of job security. We are very proactive about involving the customers in credentials management for all systems, and provide ongoing and updated documentation allowing them to manage their own systems in a vast number of cases without our intervention.
2. General knowledge of systems in the current marketplace. From Tablets and PC's to Servers, Data Storage, Networking, and even long range outdoor wifi, Veteran Technology Solutions knows the products in the market, and is able to make recommendations for systems upgrades and alterations very quickly without having preference for any specific OEM. We know what works best based on application and performance specific requirements communicated to us by each customer, and always recommend solutions that will help them to achieve their goals without the need to put them in contact with nine different product specialists.
3. Our cabling is very clean, and we are focused on ensuring optimum operating conditions for equipment. relative to airflow and cleanliness. There are others who do as good a job as we do, it's not hard really, but most just slap the cables in the cabinet and move on with their day. Nine out of ten companies we service have a rats nest of cables behind their servers when we first arrive.
The best competitive advantage is knowledge you have about your customers that your competitors lack.
Nothing else comes close.
Personality and being ahead of the curve in your product proposition
We often have a series of competitive edges as we leverage leading edge technologies where applicable and creating value innovation as an ongoing process. Our one lasting differentiation tho is our people and their embracing of our purpose and living our core values every day in every way with our customers.
1. PEOPLE: ALWAYS acting in the best interest of our clients and our team members.
2. TECHNICAL EXPERTISE: We have been deploying (production) Microsoft workloads in the "Cloud" (Amazon Web Services) for our clients since 2008 - well before others.
We strive to turn marketing on its head. Too many businesses market themselves inefficiently because of concerns of poor results and/or cost.
Small, independent marketers try to be a jack-of-all-trades which provides a client with sub-standard work and often one-off efforts with no thought. Agencies traditionally develop complex (and costly) campaigns, but due to costs, many clients can't sustain it so they are hedging their bets on a single, large impact.
Our marketing strategy model ensures that research guides tactics. Tactics are a mix of online and traditional efforts and delivered on a monthly basis. This approach gives clients manageable, regular and measurable marketing efforts tailored to their business... Not just busy work, one off's or expensive upfront costs.