How to Make Competition Work for You

Competition is simply rivalry. In business it means you and your rival are trying to get access to the same market, customer and limited resources to stay ahead. Sometimes it is not a saturated market, sometimes it is.  This may seem like a lot for your small human Hair or Organic skin care line or Virtual assistant business but it certainly can be managed to work for you.  It goes without stating, however, that business that doesn’t have the right strategies in place to compete effectively will go out of business faster.

  1. Identify your Competition: To stay ahead of the competition or even to stand out from them, you will first have to identify where and who your competition is. Your competition is not only that business that does exactly what you do for your customer but also the business or service that can be used as an alternative to what you offer. In this knowledge-based era, your competition can also be your customer in a case like the skin care, your customer can go online or use YouTube to create the product you are offering, that is a substitute to buying from you, how are you figuring that into your strategy? How do you intend to position or communicate with your customers and clients to stay ahead of these trends?


  1. What do they offer: Knowing the answer to this question will help you channel your energies properly by eliminating what and who is not strong competition based on customers’ needs you wish to fulfil. This exercise will also help you effectively understand the things that matter to your niche so you can proceed to eliminate substitute products and or DIY customers who do not fall into this category. When you do this you can then decide on your strengths that way you can use them to stay ahead of your competition.


  1. Collaborate: Can you harness your strengths as well as your competitors to give your customer a mind-blowing experience? Well, then think about it deeply. Evaluate your strengths against their weaknesses and reach out to them to see if they will be interested in teaming up for greatness.


  1. Eliminating uncertainty: One of the key ways to know if you have a viable product or service is to test your assumptions to eliminate uncertainty. When the competitor already has done that for you, paying attention to their moves can give you insight into your market thus eliminating your uncertainty. Now that the data exist thanks to your competition, you can dig into innovation and creating a product or service that better solves that need in a more efficient and much simpler way for your customer. You could even target the lower or higher end of the customer pyramid and still make enough to scale your business. It’s now up to you to create an offering that stands out.


  1. Turn them into your clients: Are you offering a service that can be a solution for one of the people who compete in your market space? Once you can get your competitor paying you, while it doesn’t totally eliminate them as competition, it reduces the threat you face from this particular player as you generate revenue from them. A good example is if you are a tailor and you create your competitors ready to wear item for them.

It is a mistake for businesses to ignore their competition but also don’t spend your time trying to imitate them. Your job is to be aware of them and then build strategies that help you better solve problems for your clients and customers. This is what will make you stand out.  Paying attention to your customers’ needs and making sure you are doing better at meeting them than your competitor.

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