Whether you are a startup company or a well-established one, when it comes to competition, it can be both overrated and at the same time underrated. This is because too many startups for instance worry too much about competition instead of understanding their market. To be successful at your craft you need to thrive under competitive pressures. View competition as an opportunity rather than an obstacle and ensure you fully understand your market by doing adequate research.
Competition is great as it challenges you to work smartly with the resources you have at hand. For instance leveraging the unique talents of your staff as well as building your business in such a way that our competitors won’t challenge. However, if you find yourself as not the only fish in the sea, and another product wants a share of your cake, remember there are no quick fixes when dealing with competition.
Here are a few tips to thwart your competition and possibly even collaborate in the process.
1. Prioritize your customers’ needs
As earlier mentioned, it’s important to understand your market therefore do right by them instead of focusing too much on the competition. Come up with customer-centric approaches that build customer loyalty because in the end they are the ones who make or break your business and not the competition.
2. Narrow down a niche
Fact is that you cannot expect to hold on to every customer. Therefore pour your energy in identifying your ideal customers and develop strategies that will win that share of the niche for you. By satisfying the needs of these segment, you secure your market share and you gain a competitive edge over your competition.
3. Explore the industry trends
Competition shows that there is demand for your product or service. Which is good news for you as it validates what you are doing and provides an opportunity to exploit other ways you can do the same things. Research what other ways you can be innovative and creative to offer more options ad provide those options to your customers that meet their needs.
4. Never get into a price war
Reducing your prices to attract and retain your customers because of competition may have a few consequence that are bad for your business. In the long run, people may view your product or service as low quality and restoring the original price will be an uphill task. You also run the risk of attracting the wrong customers whose main reason for coming to you is the price point. Reducing your prices also labels you as a follower whose product or service are the second best because they are cheaper.
5. Avoid complacency
Instead of being comfortable where you are, competition forces us to be more innovative in our ways of dealing with our business. The need to shift the status quo leads us to create ways of attracting retaining more customers and going the extra mile to please them so they can come back. Therefore, identifying our unique offering and leveraging that against our clients to cling on to our market share.
6. Build your brand clout
Invest in your brand and make it your mission to stand out from the crowd. Strive to be the leading authority in your area of expertise so that potential clients and customers have no doubt about your ability to provide solutions to their problems. Use thought leadership to acquire more clients so that naturally, you will be the better choice as opposed to other suppliers. Invest in marketing strategies to build your brand as well as public relations strategies that show you in the best light with the publics.
7. Develop self-awareness
It is important to get to know your competition, more importantly you should know yourself. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and work to better yourself. Getting to know your competition helps you to fill the void they leave as it is an opportunity for your create value proposition for your customers. Identify and understand your business’ shortcomings and find out ways of overcoming them without the competition taking advantage of them. In the same breadth, capitalize on your competitor’s weaknesses and build a profitable niche from it.
8. Differentiate your offering
It is important to identify what your unique insight is to the market. Why and how different you are is important to create a unique offering. Also identify why this difference matters enough for you to win. The best way to know of your differentiation is identifying whether you have a product advantage which is seen when your product is considerably different in the way it works from your competitors. Ensure you also have some sales advantage meaning you invest in your customers and have deep understanding of what they want and like.
9. Mutual learning
Mutual learning encompasses getting actively involved in your competitors business by leaning their ways of operation. This is important because you can learn a thing or two that you can incorporate in your business to make it better. Understanding how the competition operations makes you better equipped to challenge and beat them in their own game. Their knowledge and resources may be better or different to what you use. Therefore, learn and apply those lessons to your own business and see how they grow your business.
10. Think about partnerships, co-opetition
Sometimes the most unexpected partnerships make the most profit. Co-opetition can be best described as the gentle art of two companies that are considered competitor cooperating to maximize profits. Like-minded businesses can create alliances to market their products and services, they may exchange and share technology and tools that promote their businesses which eventually expand their overall market. You never know, your biggest competitor might be your biggest ally and maybe in future your companies can merge for the benefit of both your businesses.
Never let competition turn ugly. Ensure you mind your own business literally and let your brands battle it out the clean way. Just take every opportunity that comes to your advantage and make your business work for you.