What would you do if you’ve been operating in a market without a competitor, and then one appears? Do you ignore it, suggest tie-ups, share expertise, or wage all out war?
Competition is healthy
First off, take the view that ‘competition is healthy’…two companies can make more noise than one and having a competitor may even expand the size of your market, bringing in more business for you.
A fine start: But how do you respond to the new kid on the block?
Make love, not war
Think if there’s a way you can embrace each other. Is there stuff you can do together? This doesn’t have to be a full scale marriage between your two businesses – maybe just a case of swapping content, sharing contacts, or cross-promotion.
There is nothing more real to focus the mind than competition. Having someone else appear in your market will cause you to clearly define what you offer. Once you’ve identified the thing that makes you ‘unique’, then communicate this well.
Keep your wits about you. Put yourself in the shoes of your competitor. If you were them, what would you do? Think about it and then out-smart them. Do something better. Not necessarily bigger, just better.
Enjoy it …but keep your eye on the customer
If you’ve been operating without competition, then a healthy dose of it could be a welcome wake-up call! It will have you springing out of bed in the morning, excited by the thought of how you can improve on yesterday.
Enjoy the experience of planning your strategy and sharing this with close and trusted friends and co-workers; but don’t get so caught up in the competition that you forget about the customer. Remember, they now have somewhere else they can go!
Photo credit: Ren Norman