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March 24, 2014

3 Reasons Why Competitors Are Good For Your Small Business

small business competitionAs much as you may want to have a market completely to yourself, having competitors is actually a good thing.  Here’s why:

1. Having competitors proves that there’s a marketplace in the first place

Launching a product or company that is so new, so innovative, and so unique may mean it will take some time for customers to actually catch up to you.  If they’ve gone this long without this new, innovative, and unique thing then you need to show them why they can’t live without it going forward and to do that means you’ve got to put a lot of time and money into marketing.  Having competitors shows ‘proof of concept’ that this marketplace actually exists and makes it easier for consumers to understand what it is you’re selling.

2. Having competitors forces you to be better

Even though you want to be in a space that consumers value and are willing to purchase from, you can’t simply be like every other product out there.  If you’re just another ‘me too’ product then your company will have a hard time getting noticed in and amongst your competitors.  But if your company or your products takes something to a new level or a new combination of flavors that no one’s ever thought of, that’s when you break through the clutter and start attracting attention.  Your competitors force you to stay on the cutting-edge and to be constantly challenging yourself and your business to be its very best.

3. Having competitors gives you the foundation of a marketing strategy

If you’re struggling to find your customer base, it can be helpful to watch what your competitors are doing when it comes to marketing.  Are they engaging with customers on social media?  If so, what are they doing that seems to be working?  Are they sponsoring local events?  Are they attending festivals and drawing  crowd?  Keeping an eye on them can help give your marketing plan direction as you go after capturing some of that very same market.

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2 comments on “3 Reasons Why Competitors Are Good For Your Small Business

  • Yves Farges on said:

    Most people consider “Competitors” in a negative light when in fact the guiding principle of growing a small business is “There is plenty of room out in the sun for everyone” and they should consider competitors as “Colleagues” or “also in the same business”. There will always bee that ‘black hat competitor’ that is hyper-aggressive, unethical, & just bad news: ignore them & avoid doing any business with them. Always be pleasantly neutral in conversation about them. The ‘white hat Competitors’ are people in the same business that understand that we all serve the industry and treat people right.

    When I was growing my first fine food business I ensured that I was doing something unique, specifically to ensure that in fact I had no real competition. If the industry delivers in two days, do same day. If you make cupcakes, sell by 12s but deliver 13. Be different to separate yourself from the pack and become – in fact – without competition.

    • Jennifer on said:

      Yves,

      I agree that I tend to look at competitors from the standpoint of ‘a rising tide carries all boats’ and that the more specialty products out there the more consumers will start integrating specialty products into their daily diet which is good for all of us. But I loved the insight you shared into doing things to make your company and your customers’ experience unique. Thanks so much for sharing.

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