Friday, June 6, 2008

SMEs - competitiveness

Too often SME's perceive competitiveness as being about price. But nothing could be further from the truth.But was is competitiveness? Is it about price?

Yes, but it is only part of the whole. The fact is that competitiveness is about the human, financial and equipment resources in the business, and how they are utilised. It is about your leadership skills. the training your staff receive and the organisational structure and culture. It is about efficiency, communication, pricing, customer care, stock control and everything else that happens within your business.

Too often we try to emulate our competitors, and then wonder why we did not achieve what they did. It is because it is not about a one single component, but rather all of the components and how they interact with each other. It is about your own personal recipe, which requires you keep fine tuning it until the taste is perfect. Then you have your competitive advantage.

But competitive advantage is seldom understood in this way and is always focused on a single attribute by many SMEs and entrepreneurs. Do not try to focus on one attribute, but rather try to understand the interaction and interdependency of the business as a whole. So broad based competitiveness is critical to the SME.

Rob Smorfitt

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