In virtually every business you are faced with competition. Put simply, they want a share of your business and you want theirs.
In reality, a number of similar competitors can work within a sector of the industry and each make a substantial profit to maintain their business or provide you with the ability for a generous sale.
That doesn’t mean you should stop trying to increase your share. Here a some ideas.
Understand the rules
You can choose to ignore the rules of the business world, but doing so puts you at a disadvantage, particularly when your competitors are better at your business then you.
It pays you to understand:
- competition is predictable - even if you are first to market with your product, others will follow
- some competition is foreseeable - you may be the second or third to the marketplace, copying what other businesses sell or market
- most competition is good - it keeps you on your toes as you constantly strive to find ways to beat your competition by improving your product or services
- more competition is confirmation - this clarifies that there is a marketplace for your products and services
- your plans must be better than those of your competitors
Stay ahead of the competition
Strategic business planning will allow you to stay ahead and beat your competitors, but you will need to know almost as much about them as you do your own business.
This does not mean stealing insider information from your competitor, but striving to maintain files that provide you with all of the salient information where you can compare all of your competitors with your own business, with up-to-date information.
Some industries are friendly and you may meet with your closest competition and be prepared to share a significant amount of detail. While you would be gaining competitor information, remember they will hope to achieve the same from you.
Other industries are significantly unfriendly and believe that any data obtainable is a declaration of rights, which will be backed up by the law, to the bitter end.
An illegal approach for your competitor’s information may provide you with a short-term gain, but the potential for a long-term loss may outweigh some of your decision-making processes.
While you might hold ambitions of becoming the next Microsoft, Google or Telstra, the greatest gains will become obvious when you diligently plan to become the first in your niche, rather than second Apple or Rio Tinto.
By paying attention to detail, you will be able to achieve your own results within your brand. As your brand grows, potential customers will understand your business as an individual and stop comparing you with others in the same industry.
Successful businesses will develop their own unique selling point, which will provide you with a strong competitive edge, compared to your competitors. Your public relations will compare your people and your brand and understand your leadership style.
By staying ahead of the marketplace, you will understand when to introduce a product, when to promote it and when to withdraw.
Nobody says it will be easy for you to beat your competitors, but once you understand all of the business and moral laws that are in place, you have the starting point for understanding and learning how to beat your competitors.
Knowing how to stay ahead of the competition is vital if you are to win the race, but clearly it is better for your business to be first as your own brand, rather than trying to be the second or third of something else.