Number One Started Somewhere

In a world where a cell phone costs more than a sofa, how does a small home furnishings business leverage a competitive edge to put them ahead of the competition? A series of smart and strategic choices led by a firm understanding of what differentiates a competitive edge from an unfair advantage.

Simply put, a competitive edge is nothing more than an advantage over the competition. This gray area is often the prey of pricing, quality and customer service. Release those - they’re not competitive advantages. Everyone offers low prices, high quality and superior customer service. Can you hear our eyes rolling? 

The boost your business really needs lies in your ability to identify and sell what sets you apart and ahead of the pack. To do this, work with a simple 3-step system. 

  • You’re first to market. 

No, not High Point . . . the broader market. You study economical trends and can predict the social impact of political drivers. For example, you watch the nightly news and see the economy rebounding. You’re among the first to update your product line with a few extra “luxury items” because you understand that those with expendable income aren’t willing to compromise comfort when it comes to style. You’re willing to capitalize on those who are interested in investment pieces while the time is right to buy. 

  • You create and advertise an expert status. 

As a home furnishing professional, you can’t be everything to everyone – nor should you. Choose your niche and learn everything there is to know about kids’ furniture, convertible desks, innovative storage or imported linens. Then, shout it out! Become a consultant of sorts – generously sharing your knowledge with clients, friends, neighbors and anyone who will listen. One day, Person A will tell Person B they’re looking for a kitchen table that collapses into a desk for daytime use. Person B will then say, “You know, I know a lady - she’s awesome – let me send you her number.”  

  • You’re nimble with your positioning. 

If you’re innovative, people will copy you. Therefore, keeping an eye on the competition is imperative to your business ranking. When people start to sound like photocopies of you, shake up your marketing, messaging and positioning. Leading businesses know how to shake things up while remaining true to their brand and brand voice. 

The breakdown? 

Companies with a competitive edge: 

  • Have a niche. 

  • Stay ahead of the curve. 

  • Fine-tune their offerings in response.

  • Earn recognition as a master of XYZ. 

  • Innovate. 

  • Change. 

So, whether you’re just starting out and you’re eager to advance or you’ve been in the business for a while and you’re ready to claim your piece of the pie, it’s time to shake things up. Whatever you do, remember that everyone had to start somewhere on their climb to the top. Now, it’s up to you to sharpen your edge and get your business to the Number One spot.