Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
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10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Customer-First Strategy

10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Customer-First Strategy | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Many of you know that customer centricity is essential today. You must put the customer clearly at the heart of your business. But I also know that many of you struggle because you just don’t know 

where to start. Am I right? Then this article is for you.

This week I give you ten simple actions to accelerate your organisation along its path to an improved customer-first strategy.

Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Growthink teaches how to FUND, build, grow, and sell a great business: http://bit.ly/2hn5ROb

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Your business is all about your #customer. This article emphasizes what you can do to make it better.

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The 7 Critical Success Factors for a Services Business - Entrepreneur

The 7 Critical Success Factors for a Services Business - Entrepreneur | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The critical success factors for a product business are well known, starting with selling every unit with a gross margin of 50 percent or more, building a patent and other intellectual property, and continuous product improvement. 

If your forte is a service, such as consulting or website design, it’s harder to find guidance on what will get you funded, and how you can scale your business.

On the product side, once you have a proven product and business model, all you need is money to build inventory, and a sales and marketing operation to drive the business. With services, scaling the business often implies cloning yourself, since you are the intellectual property and the competitive advantage. You have no shelf life, so you can’t make money while you sleep.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Luis Costa
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good information for service businesses. Be unique, value yourself, stand out, look for referrals, offer advice, etc.

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7 Tips to Increase Your Service Business Bottom Line

7 Tips to Increase Your Service Business Bottom Line | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Your service workflow should be digitized so that when a service call comes in, it’s captured electronically. Computer-based scheduling tools streamline the process of capturing and dispatching service requests, saving as much as 80% over the effort of a paper-based process. If your company is not leveraging smartphone technology, you’re missing a golden opportunity.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.


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Via TechinBiz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Using technology and common sense will increase your sales, efficiency and the respect you get from your clients. Great article.

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Fine-arts schools aim to spark students' entrepreneurial savvy

Fine-arts schools aim to spark students' entrepreneurial savvy | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
As crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter become more accessible than moneyed patrons, fine-arts schools want to spark students' entrepreneurial savvy.

As crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter become more accessible than moneyed patrons, fine-arts schools want to spark students' entrepreneurial savvy.

The Juilliard School, the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music have embraced programs or courses aimed at developing students' business acumen alongside their artistic skill. Entrepreneurship is also a hot topic in courses at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, while the certificate program in design entrepreneurship at Pratt Institute of New York has been in such high demand that the school is expanding the program to accommodate more students.

Focusing on craft alone won't prepare students for life as a working artist, says Joseph W. Polisi, president of the Juilliard School, which holds workshops that encourage an entrepreneurial mind-set; in one session, students pitched business ideas to Tony Award-winning producer Bruce Robert Harris.

Students "can't think that the only world out there is the world that existed" when artists were able to concentrate on their art alone, says Mr. Polisi. "That world, to a great degree, is gone."

Sites like YouTube and SoundCloud, which allow users to post music and videos, have changed the way musicians get noticed and have intensified competition for jobs and recording contracts, students and administrators say. Even for classical and jazz musicians, record labels are more likely to sign an artist who already has a ready-made following online.

The Berklee College of Music has begun holding YouTube "hack days," bringing students together with artists popular on YouTube such as Berklee alumnus AJ Rafael, along with Andres Palmiter, an audience-development strategist at the video platform. During the most recent hack day in March, students made their own performance videos in under 24 hours, and learned about the factors that go into a video's viral success.

Students "have to approach and think about what they're doing in the same way an entrepreneur does and the same way that a startup does," says Panos Panay, the managing director of Berklee College of Music's new Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, or BerkleeICE.

BerkleeICE is also adding two elective courses this fall: one where students work with startups on such projects as designing apps or improving instruments, and another where students spend a semester forming their own music-focused startups. Mr. Panay, a Berklee alum who sold his own startup, Sonicbids—a site for performers and promoters to post about jobs—for about $15 million, will teach both classes.

Colin Thurmond, a doctoral student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, has received three entrepreneurship grants valued at about $4,000 in total from his school, two of which helped fund a performance-design company he co-founded, and another for his online guitar boot camp.

The school, which has funded over 60 projects since 2010, says it wants students to not just learn about startups, but to create them as well. Mr. Thurmond said the grants and ventures have helped him pay for school while continuing to perform.

"It becomes less about one single stream of income," he says. "I want to be able to make my career doing things that I love."

As part of a multimillion-dollar initiative to prepare students for a wider variety of careers in the ever-changing music industry, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is building a music technology facility and expects to add a battery of professional development courses in which students will learn how to write a press release, read financial statements and use crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter.

Assistant Dean MaryClare Brzytwa says the goal is to make graduates viable candidates for jobs as record engineers, independent composers and music supervisors for film and television.

"Many students don't have the practical digital skills necessary to actually secure employment in the field," says Ms. Brzytwa.

The Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles offers a course with nearby Loyola Marymount University on the development, funding and marketing of products such as the iPhone.

Working designers today need a broader understanding of the businesses they work in, playing a role at marketing and sales meetings, says Steve McAdam, academic chair of product design at Otis and a former toy designer at Mattel Inc.

"Because innovation is so important," Mr. McAdam says, "it has become clear that designers have to become leaders, and leaders have to become designers."



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Via Comfortable Home Design
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

No matter what you do, you still have to sell your service, product or craft to your public. It's great to see how crowdfunding brings that notion to art schools or anyone in general trying to commercialize what they have.

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Develop an experience, not just a product | The Venture Company

Develop an experience, not just a product | The Venture Company | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

My 3-year-old daughter uses my iPhone to play music videos and YouTube videos and has not touched a PC (or better, a Mac) yet. With the same content available on either she's obviously seen me operate my Mac and looks over my shoulder now and then, but finds all the keys and even the "Magic-mouse" complicated. Clearly a usage experience is more important to her than sheer processing power. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Nintendo anyone? What I see in so many early business plans today is the old-fashioned notion of deep technology expertise, something most traditional investors still harp on. I see too many BMW engines being developed without attention being paid to the development of The Ultimate Driving Experience®. True, you can't build the driving experience without great engines, but BMW, like no other vendor understands that the total experience is the selling point. In the end, technology will become commoditized and its differentiation will be determined by the way it interacts...

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent observation. Keeping this in mind will create very loyal customers. This is an older article, but still very essential for any kind of business.

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