Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

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Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

4 Sustainability and making a difference

How will you be able to sustain any competitive advantage you create? So far in this session you have mainly looked internally at the resources you have and those you might need. You have also considered the importance of aligning them appropriately, focusing on what might be distinctive or different about them, and how that will allow you to make a difference. So how do you sustain any advantage you have? Firstly, you need to keep an eye on both your internal and external environments.

As competitive advantage can erode over time, here is a useful set of things to ask yourself using the acronym VIRO. Are the capabilities and resources you have access to:

  • valuable, i.e. valuable to the enterprise
  • inimitable, i.e. difficult to imitate
  • rare, i.e. hard to acquire
  • organisational, i.e. organised in such a way that your organisation can take advantage of them and exploit them?

Activity 5 Maintaining competitive advantage

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Pick one specific resource or capability that you believe to be a point of differentiation for your enterprise or another you are familiar with. Use the template below to put it into the framework, answering ‘Y’ (yes) or ‘N’ (no) for each category.

Table 2 Points of differentiation

Resource or capabilityValuableRareInimitableExploited by the organisation
 
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Discussion

The table below provides the ‘standard answers’ and strategic implications of those answers. However, like any of these tables or tools it is the process – the discussions that lead to filling in the blanks – which will help you most.

ValuableRareInimitableExploited by the organisationImplication
NDisadvantage
YNParity
YYN Temporary advantage
YYYNAdvantage insufficiently used
YYYYSustained advantage
ENT_1

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