One of the challenges you have to deal with when you have your own business is the competition. Other businesses in your industry, large, small and on a par with your own are all competing in the same space for the same customers, and you have to find a way to live with this if you want to succeed in your sector.
Today we’re looking at some of the ways you can work with and around competitors to find your place in your niche.
Know the Competition
The first step is to learn who your competition really is. Which businesses are you competing with locally, nationally and internationally, which are beneath your notice and which do you need to be aware of?
If you’re a physical toyshop with a few locations in towns in the Northeast, another toyshop in Cornwall is operating in the same space conceptually but such a different one geographically they have no impact on you. Amazon, meanwhile, is unaware that you exist, but you definitely need a strategy that allows you to compete meaningfully with them.
Medium sized and even small businesses can benefit from competitor benchmarking services. This is a kind of market research that identifies your competitors and ranks them alongside you by set metrics. It shows you how your competitors are behaving over time, how they’re growing and changing and what their plans might be in the future.
If you’re looking for business consultants London hosts a spread of agencies at different scales to suit your budget which can help you plan your next steps.
Finding the Whitespace
One of the most important things you can do is find the whitespace in your market: the areas your competitors aren’t using, the audiences they aren’t targeting, the dates they’re not launching products and sales.
It’s a difficult tight-rope to walk. Trying to launch a new product the same day your competitor has their own, similar one coming out could be disastrous for you both. Finding your own space there is vital, with either a different kind of product or a different launch window, or both.
On the other hand, some concepts, date ranges and audiences go unused because they’re not relevant. Launching a new product for your winter clothing business in July will go without competition because it also goes without sales!
Market research and competitor analysis can help you identify safe spots to launch your products, low competition keywords to hang your marketing on and under-leveraged product concepts to develop, while keeping them all relevant to your audience.
Making Peace with Your Competitors
It’s well worth making peace with the idea of competition. It’s healthy after all, and pushes you to find new ideas and new successes. It’s also worth making contact and networking among the owners of competing businesses: no one else understands the challenges of your industry so well! It might become an important part of the way you support yourself as a business owner!