How to Give Your Business a Cutting Edge on Competitors
In business, there’s no middle ground. If you’re not growing, you’re one day closer to market irrelevance. Think your loyal customers won’t drop you in a hot second if they get a better offer from a competitor? Believe it, they will. The question is whether or not an advanced degree can keep you on the cutting edge of profit. Here are some considerations.
Beating Up the Competition
While an MBA in information systems is no guarantee of success, this four-year degree might be the ticket you need to establish and maintain a competitive advantage. What is a competitive advantage? The short, sweet version: a competitive advantage is a factor that differentiates your business from others in the industry and encourages potential customers to choose your service or product over a competitor. Examples of a competitive advantage might be better customer service, higher quality, or lower cost. Without a competitive advantage – that is, without something that makes a business unique in the market – there is a high chance of failure.
It’s All About the Systems
Structuring a business and its associated organizational systems for maximum efficiency is not something most people can do off the top of their head. That’s where a targeted business education could ultimately be worth much more than you spend attaining it. Even the “good old boy” who started mega-retailer Walmart, Sam Walton, held a degree in Economics from the University of Missouri. It’s unlikely that an untrained business owner would have the skill set to undertake a program of systematic deconstruction of the competition, uncovering weaknesses and strengths and be able to adjust strategy accordingly.
Before You Take the Plunge
While it’s not required to have a technical background in computers in order to undertake a graduate program in information systems, you probably should at least have a keen interest in the field. One thing certain. Running a modern business is only going to require an owner to become more and more technologically adept as time passes. Even if you plan to delegate day-to-day operations management to someone else, having enough education under your belt to understand how it all works can only improve the odds of survival.
The bottom line in maintaining a cutting edge on business competitors is to never stop planning and improving on ways to gain an advantage. Maybe more education is the answer. Complacency is the enemy that will sneak up in the middle of the night and slit your throat, leaving profits to bleed out on the ground.