According to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, there is a mechanism called “natural selection” through which, the most advantageous members of species -featuring a unique variation of a trait (e.g. a special kind of wings) - can survive and grow, while the less advantageous ones tend to vanish.
Although Darwin’s theory has been disputed, the concept of evolution is widely accepted in biology as well as other scientific disciplines, as it can explain a whole lot of naturally happening phenomena. Now, take this principle (of natural selection) and transfer it to the entrepreneurial arena. Businesses which are capable of changing and adapting to competitive environments are the ones that survive and flourish.
The difference is that-in contrast to the animal world-a business, headed by humans, can change and grow on purpose; and this is accomplished by creating and implementing a successful strategy. Thus, a business strategy is nothing but a roadmap leading to desired outcomes (sales, profits, growth); in addition, to be robust from an evolutionary point-of-view, a good strategy should be based on the unique competitive advantages of the enterprise.
Strategies based on imitation (rather than innovation) are doomed to fail or (at best) lead to mediocre results. Take for example three artists, let’s say singers: the first one sounds like a “clone” of a famous singer, the second one sings with her own voice songs originally sung by other artists, while the last one has a unique vocal style, along with her own repertoire; who do you think, will become a great singer, the most successful one?
On the other hand, we see businesses, solo professionals, entrepreneurs coping one another in terms of products, price offerings, marketing strategies, selling arguments and even website layouts! How do you expect to be selected by “natural selection” to survive in a world of limited resources and harsh competition by just coping? Why not try to differentiate by tapping into your own talents, strengths, personal and professional abilities?
How to differentiate? Just ask yourself: “-What unique am I offering to my clients?”, “-What is that I do best, that others can’t?”, “-If I had only one product / service to sell to make a living, what would it be?”, “-If I only had 1 month to raise the X big amount of money, what would I do?”; and then proceed with the development of your strategy.
In fact, there are a lot of areas where you can distinguish your business from the competition: design, package, price, quality, speed of delivery, service, knowledge, communication and sales methods, attitude etc. The secret is to let yourself think “outside the box”, relax, take some time to reflect on your strengths and then come up with a unique idea or concept to make a difference!