By: Guest Thought Leader, Dr Thommie Burger, founder of JTB Consulting
People usually think that with no competition the entire market for their product or service will be theirs. However, if nobody is competing in your space, it’s probably safe to say the market you are targeting is too small.
Entering a market that already has some competitors should not be overlooked. In my opinion a market can never be too crowded, as long as your product or service is unique and is not ‘just one of the same thing’.
The reality is competition is everywhere. No matter what business you’re in, you will benefit greatly from studying your competition.
When there’s competition in business, you must always be on your toes
One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is knowing everything you can about your competition. This includes everything from their marketing tactics to branding and, also, how well they treat their employees and run their business on a day to day basis.
When companies compete against each other, they set new standards for other companies to either match or beat. Knowing your competition should be an ongoing experience to make sure you know what there is to know about them.
Now that you have chosen to take off the blindfolds and realise healthy competition in the business world is a good thing, take a deep breath while we look at a few points on why it can only benefit you and your business in the long run:
1. Competition validates your idea
Competition validates the market and the fact that there most likely are customers for your new product or service. You can learn from what your competitors have put in place to adjust your plan. You are also able to weigh in the pros and cons from the way they run their businesses, products and services.
2. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses
Your competition might just be the ones who point out your strengths and weaknesses. They may also help you focus and set your concentration on what you’re really good at. Your weaknesses help you become better, while your strength drives you to achieve more.
You will benefit greatly from studying your competition
3. It’s also good for your employees
Your employees will always benefit from learning, for example, how to deal with situations when your competitors have more customers than you do.
4. Competition in business helps you focus on what’s important
Without competition, it’s easy to lose focus on your core business and you may start to expand into areas that’s not the best for your business. It reminds you every now and then to focus on what’s important. Being competitive forces you and your business to figure out how to be different than your competition. It will help you build a better business.
5. Consumers also benefit
Competition is not only good for your business, it’s good for consumers. When there is competition among brands, consumers get the opportunity to choose on which business they can spend their time, money and attention.
When companies compete against each other, they set new standards
6. Competition will help you work smarter
You have to be up to speed and on the ball at all times. You can’t afford to backslide or work sluggishly when you’re faced with stiff competition. When there’s competition, you must always be on your toes. Failing to do this will give an opportunity to your competitors to push you out of the market.
7. Customer service must be of importance
Face it, there isn’t enough time in a day to really stop and evaluate every customer, but you can still appreciate them and treat them right so that when the competition comes along they won’t be tempted to go anywhere else.
8. Competition will help you step out of your comfort zone
Leaving your comfort zone will help you strive to beat the records of your competitors and also to try and be the best business for your target market. Strong competition can provide valuable market insight and keep your product or service strategies fresh.
9. It will help you identify potential threats
You will be able to learn from other competitors what works and what doesn’t. Then you will decipher what strategies would be detrimental to your business.
Strong competition can provide valuable market insight
10. It will remind you that knowledge is power
When in competition, one of the ways to always come out on top is by continuous reading and researching about your product or service as well as what the competition is up to.
11. You’ll have the opportunity to always improve yourself
While going through the exercise of keeping a closer eye on your competitors, you will most definitely gain more experience along the way, whether it be on how to better market your brand or how to keep that customer interested in coming back to you. There is always something you can do better!
Lastly, remember to not focus too much on the competition because that can also be a bad thing. It can stifle creativity and keep you from focusing on the more important things in your business. So now, stop being paranoid and scared of the competition, but rather take advantage of things you will come to learn about not only yourself, but also your product, service and business along the way!
About the Author: Dr Thommie Burger founded the company JTB Consulting in 2006. Known as “the professional business plan specialists”, JTB Consulting’s team has experience in writing business plans and commercial proposals for both startup businesses and more complex local and international projects and established companies.