New companies that embrace technology are able to deploy new products and services very fast. If Amazon was to focus its efforts on selling construction materials it would be able to get ‘in front’ of your current customers very quickly. However, having said that you still have a big unfair advantage.

This blog post will cover what your unfair advantage is and how you deploy it to make sure someone else doesn’t steal your lunch from under your nose.

As previously mentioned Amazon would be able to get ‘in front’ of your customers, but you currently have a relationship with your customers. This is the unfair advantage you have over anyone trying to get into your market and one that if you do not use to it’s fullest you are at risk.

This relationship you have with your current customer allows you to:

  • Have historical data on buying habits and market trends
  • Access to an active customer base for feedback.

By using these two data sets you can stop thinking about “What can we do better?” and start thinking: “What are we not doing that our customers want us to?” This is a much smarter question to be asking internally as you plan product/service development.

The only way to make this a successful exercise is to get to the root cause of the pain your customers are facing. When you start collecting feedback you may here surface level problems. It’s your job to get to the heart of the issue and you can do this by asking the same thing over and over again. You need to ask “Why?”

"If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." This is a great quote by Henry Ford, which reveals the answer you get from your customers may not be their real problem. The real pain was that people wanted to get from A to B faster and they thought the only answer would have been a faster horse, because they didn't know what Mr Ford knew. This was his unfair advantage.

I challenge you to go and discover a problem your customers are facing - find out the root cause of the problem and see if you have any plans to fix that problem in the next 12 months.

Adam Callow is the founder of Expert Trades.