Sharks school together when there’s food to eat – the feeding frenzy! And all of the established small business owners are already feeding with the great whites. So entrepreneurs must prepare themselves before they dive in with the competition. When they turn their ideas into reality, they must always test the water first. And they must be prepared for a shark attack.
Unlike business owners, entrepreneurs like you are usually the first in the water with a new idea. And sometimes, you’ll have no competition at first. But sharks will notice that you’re feeding. They’ll attack you from every angle. And big sharks can swallow you whole.
Arm yourself with knowledge and strategy. Study your competition. Learn the nitty gritty details about your marketplace. Differentiate yourself. And then, establish your marketing message which promotes YOUR angle – your solution.
Investigate your competition – perform a competitive analysis. Find out who their customers are. How loyal are they to your competition? Investigate and calculate the yearly sales volumes of your competitors. Then document their strategies. And read their customer feedback. Gain insight from resources like Better Business Bureau about your competition.
When I was ready to launch my latest business startup eight months ago, I hired a person to perform the competition investigation groundwork for me. He was my spy, so to speak. And he retrieved some great information for me. The following are examples of key data points you should attain from your competition:
- Gather information about the owner
- How long have they been in business?
- What is their capacity?
- How many regular customers do they have?
- What are their price structures?
- Do they have certifications?
- What are their market strategies?
- Do they posses patents?
- Study their product technical information
Document your competition
Keep files on all of your competition. Then investigate them regularly to stay aware of what they’re up to. If they launch a new ad campaign or offer a new special, you’ll be aware of it. Then, you can answer it with something better.
Research the relationships between your competitors to see how they act toward each other. Some sharks feed together in harmony, but not always. So be prepared for how they will react to you entering the marketplace. And prepare yourself to act accordingly based on your knowledge of competitive interaction. Maybe you can change the status quo in your market. Be a game changer!
It’s time to swim with your competition
Some entrepreneurs are able to build a shark cage out of patents and copyrights. And some of those end up swimming in harmony with sharks by licensing their IP. But you can always swim with them if you’re fully prepared and if you fear them.
Fear your competition without being afraid. Never panic. You must have a healthy fear of what they’re capable of. Remember…you are much smarter than sharks!
How are you different from your competition? What makes them successful? If you plan to enter a market with another version of an existing product, there must be an advantage to yours. Quality, functionality, price, or appearance, are all examples of factors you can dominate with against your competition.
First, identify the existing product differentiation among those already in your market. Then perform a good comparative analysis to be sure there’s ample differences or advantages. The insight you gain from this will provide visibility for you to develop strategic moves which will help you gain more market-share.
Narrow your target market
Believe it or not, the narrower your target market, the more you’ll sell. So narrow down your target market to those who are seeking what YOU provide! Marketing is easy when you know who is looking for what you have to offer. And remember, marketing to a broad audience will actually bring you less customers, overall.
Your message must be tuned to resonate with specific people. You may capture some of those who are not in your narrow target market. But those within your bulls-eye will come running to you with enthusiasm.
So tune your marketing message! And don’t worry about neglecting those who are outside of your bulls-eye. It’s much better to have a narrow, excited target market versus a sprinkling of customers from a broader market. The broader market will rarely buy from you – they won’t be enthusiastic about what you offer.
How competitive is your industry? Analyze what makes the successful businesses tick. Understand exactly what the poor performers are doing wrong. Really dive into expected profit margins in your industry. Tough competition tends to drive those margins down. Learn how profitable your competition really is.
What is the market structure of your industry? Determine the number of firms that exist in your industry and how large they are. Your market entry conditions must be fully understood. That’s where and how companies typically do business (meet and connect) with their customers.
Sharks can strike without notice
Always be prepared for a surprise attack. One minute, all of the sharks are swimming by without incident. But then, all of a sudden, a shark can turn on you and attack. Don’t ever let this happen. Be the attacker! Be a shark conqueror.
Go after as much market share as you can gain. And always be prepared for growth-spirts. Every market-share consumption requires growth in production. So good luck!
Thank you for reading Competition – Entrepreneurs! Prepare to dive in with the sharks
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