One of the many things that really holds people back from launching their dream business is the thought that their are too many competitors or the market is saturated. I’ve had plenty of women tell me time and time again that their are far too many people doing what they dream of so they choose to sit on the sidelines and be silent while others take the reigns.
Let me the first to tell you there will always be people doing the same things in the marketplace. Competition is not necessarily a bad thing, with the right strategy it actually works in your favor.
Savvy business owners know how to stand out in their market, even when there are sizeable companies holding the reigns at #1. The keys to your success is not solely dependent on an empty market but rather refining your place and creating a space you can call your own.
Here are 3 ways to set yourself apart and beat the competition in your industry
- Find a Void in your Industry and Fill It – All too often we desire to be the trailblazers in our industry but that’s far more ego focused that it is business focused. Innovation isn’t necessarily about being first to market as much as it is about creating new solutions to current problems. Apple wasn’t the very first computer company yet, they revolutionized the computer experience in ways that had never been seen before. While you may have a product or service that is similar to your competitors a few defining factors can set you apart from the competition. Those key factors are the windows of opportunity that lead to great levels of success. Focus on what makes your product exceptionally different rather than your competitors similarities.
- Create Community- As more and more people move into online social interaction a sense of belonging and community becomes increasingly important. Why? Feeling connected to people with like minded interests is a basic human need right alongside food and water. What customers can’t get from big box companies is the close knit circle of people with similar passions, motivations, and desires. A great example here is Crossfit gyms. The diet and fitness industry is one of the most competitive industries. There were already so many other exercise plans on the market before Crossfit came along, yet the glue that binds this business together…community. If you ever meet someone who is a member of a crossfit gym you will know exactly what I referring to. There is a cult like following that exists that keeps this business not just surviving but thriving. Remain close to your customers, get valuable feedback on their experiences and build a tribe that connected close than a brother.
- Don’t Compete on Price – I’ve heard it said that you can’t be the lowest priced business and win, walmart has already done that. I believe that to be true, I also believe that there is no need to get into a price war with your competitor. Trying to gain more customers through underbidding the competition may benefit you the short term but long term profits and growth will suffer forcing you out of business far too soon. Rather than focusing on price focus your efforts on value by providing extraordinary customer service and more service offerings. Use customer feedback to deliver a quality experience.
Entrepreneurial growth is needed to stimulate our economy and keep people employed. When we allow fear to keep us from following our dreams we are not only hurting ourselves, we are hurting our customers, and the economy. Don’t be afraid to step out in a crowded marketplace, competition simply indicates there is customer demand and no one business can service everyone.