Competitive advantages

Based on USA data (work of David Yoffe as quoted by Martin Moore, 2008), something that gives a competitive advantage has limited time period. For example,

- price has less than 60 days

- advertising less than 12 months

- innovation less than 3 years

- manufacturing less than 3 years

- distribution less than 4 years

- human resources less than 7 years

Thus competitive advantage with people providing the best and price the least competitive advantage.

Some critical details that are required to run a successful business, ie

- location

- staff and management (motivated, stable and enthusiastic)

- low-cost structure

- good margins

- satisfying customers' needs and wants

- efficient management information systems and supply chains

- flexible approach

- learn from mistakes/failures

Timing and Luck

For any organisation to succeed, timing and luck are essential. Timing - customers are ready for your product/service; luck - your product/service is ready when the market wants it. For example, Virgin Mobile is the fastest growing company in history to reach a $1 billion turnover. Virgin Mobile was ready when the opportunity in the mobile market present itself. Furthermore, chance favours the prepared mind.

Luck plays an important role in everything we do. Thus we need to find ways to handle and manage it. This involves preparedness and creating a culture that can adapt to the unexpected. These things are always going to happen but what separates different managers is their response.

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