Dealing with Competition When Starting a Business

Making first steps in business may come as a big turn in life for you and of course it may cause quite a lot of stress. Well, it is a universal fact: starting up a business is always painful.

Suppose you have come up with a great business idea, developed a business plan, built up the website and set up a whole business platform for it, spent time and money on advertisement and general arrangements and finally, when you already have your leg in the doorway, you realize that there are thousands of other companies like yours in the market doing the same business as yours!

Quite upsetting, eh? Well, it is always so. Moreover, there will be dozens of real business monsters that are successful simply because they are large and are covering 80% of your potential clientele, and there are smaller units — just next door — which have been in this market for quite a while and are doing successfully.

How can you overcome this period of uncertainty? What should you do to survive and beat the fierce competition? Well, I have developed a few simple rules for myself; keeping to them has always been very helpful, so let me share them with you here.

Know the competition. Find out what they are offering, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, and give you a platform for differentiating yourself.

Know your customers.  Their expectations change all the time, at some moments the change may be quite dramatic. Find out what matters to them at this particular moment – it may be a lower price, a change in a product or service, or deficit of particular products – just take time to analyze the situation in the market.

Use individual approach. This rule is as old as the world, but still, only the smartest business people can use it well and with every client they face. First of all, you need to give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than your next door competitor. To attract customers to your business, you need to know very well what they want at this moment. It should be clear and obvious – no-one should have to ask what makes you different.

Never put marketing aside. Make continuous effort to tell people who you are, what you sell and why they should buy from you. It doesn’t have to be expensive – promotional ideas can range from a poster in your window to photos of your products on Instagram and big social media campaigns.

Create an image for yourself and keep it looking nice. Simple steps such as creating a good header for your blog can make your business look more attractive and inviting. Look at your business cards, social media presence, your website layout, packaging of your goods, clothing and so on. How does your business look in your clients’ eyes?

Continuously improve customer services. Think about your customers and try to be more responsive to their needs and expectations. Consider offering little extras such as discounts or loyalty schemes. It is always easier to keep existing customers than to find new ones.

Target new markets. Expanding your markets can do more than just increasing your customer base: it can spread (and therefore minimize) your risk. You may want to reach a wider audience by selling online, you can expand your advertising to sending emails to potential clients overseas, well there may be many ideas, you only need to start thinking in that direction.

Finally, you need to always look to the future. A business that is planned for growth is more successful than those that remain still. Keep up following consumer trends, invest time and funds in new technology, develop a clear idea of where you want to be in one, two and five years’ time. Even if you cannot be absolutely sure, planning for the future helps.

Putting it short, simply set up your mind on development and success. Love your business and your product/service, and never stop studying it. Also, learn to inspire people to buy your products and services, and success will come soon, I am sure. I have been living with this motto: Share love. Educate, Inspire. It works. It works really well.

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