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Competitive advantage of independent small businesses in Soweto

Article image

J.A. Badenhorst-Weiss, J.O. Cilliers

01 January 2014


Township Studies Librarian Two

Academic paper

Township Studies Group

South Africa

Small businesses in Soweto face increasing competition from large retail chains located in shopping malls. In order to survive and grow,
small business owners need to identify and focus on the competitive advantage they have over competing businesses. The aim of this
article is to explore the various sources of a competitive advantage, focusing specifically on differentiation and a unique value package as a
market strategy to ensure competitiveness and sustainability for formal independent small businesses in Soweto. In this study, it was found that
sustainable businesses (older small businesses with a growing income tendency) tend to perform a competitor analysis regularly. It was further
determined that sustainable businesses regard price, shopping hours, personal attention and close relationships as important differentiating
elements. They also include product quality, best brands and variety as important elements of their value package. It was found that sustainable
small businesses use the elements of their value packages better than stagnating or shrinking businesses. The conclusion can be reached that
sustainable formal independent small businesses stay competitive by differentiating themselves on the elements of the unique value package
they offer to customers.


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Economic sectors

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Human settlements


South Africa


Township Studies Group

Township economies

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