Checklist: How to identify your competitive advantage and get ready to export
You wouldn’t get on an international flight without ensuring you had all the necessary documentation in place to be able to enter or exit the country. The same can be said for exporting.
When it comes to exporting, success or failure often comes down to two things. First, whether you can create an ‘unfair advantage’ or ‘competitive edge’ for your product or service that will transfer across markets; and secondly, how well you’ve done your due diligence (or pre-departure checks) on the markets you are moving into before you hit go on your strategy.
Ticket to success
When preparing to export, one of the best ways to tip the odds in your favour is to ensure you have developed an unfair advantage in the product or service you have created. This will be the unique feature (or group of features) that mean your product or service can’t be easily copied, and that leads customers to prefer your product over others. This advantage is in turn what helps you protect your market share and translates into increased sales and/or margin.
Typically, this advantage is not derived from physical business assets such as your real estate, equipment, or vehicles, but from the intangible assets such as your brand, product designs, trade secrets, innovative product functionality, unique software code, efficient systems and processes, patented technology or sometimes a combination of all these things.