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Strategic Planning: The 30-Second Competitive Advantage Challenge

Knowing how to define your competitive advantage in your strategic plan is the first step toward applying it to your organization. Ninety-five percent of all companies don’t know their competitive advantages, let alone how to use them to communicate a compelling reason to choose their product or service.

Here’s a 30-second test to determine whether you know your competitive advantage. A test? I know; you feel like you’re in school again, don’t you? Don’t worry — it won’t hurt. Ready?

You meet someone at a local networking event, and you introduce yourself.

“Hi, I’m Bob Jones with ABC Company.”

“Hi, Bob. Nice to meet you. Tell me a little about your company. What’s your company best at?”

. . . 29, 30. Time’s up!

Can you answer the question in less than 30 seconds, succinctly and with clarity? If not, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Honestly, this question is hard to answer; a majority of businesses are trying to figure out what they do best. Try to narrow your focus more than you’re comfortable with. By the end of the exercise, you should be able to share your competitive advantage with confidence and shout it from the rooftops.

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