Everyone has a competitive advantage

I was on a flight the other day and happened to be sitting next to a woman and her husband who were talking about their business. I heard a few terms that I recognized and quickly surmised that they were in the same industry I am. I proceeded to join in the conversation. The topic was about the “big guys” coming in and taking 30% of their business right from under their nose. They had been visiting their new grandson but were rushing home to deal with this issue and weren’t quite sure what they were going to do.

As the conversation progressed, the wife, who is the President and CEO, made the comment that it can be intimidating going up against the big guys. To which I nodded. It certainly can be. But the conversation took an interesting turn that was somewhat ironic.

At one point the husband and I spent some time talking about wine and his favorite wineries. He told me how much he loves going to the small wineries and how much he hated the big ones. He liked being able to talk to the owner and not some employee that was simply there as a job. He then rattled off a few other reasons why he liked the small wineries. In other words, the small wineries had a competitive advantage over the big ones in his mind.

The size of your company is not what really matters. What you can offer does. You must figure out what your competitive advantages are and communicate them properly. And remember, being big is rarely a competitive advantage.

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