Your business idea is a winner—you’re sure of it. You’ve raised funds, registered a business name, rented an office, and written a business plan. But in the excitement of starting something new, you discover that another company is already doing excellently well with a similar idea. Now what do you do?
Though it’s easy to feel frustrated, let’s not to be too hasty. What if Aliko Dangote had decided not to launch Dangote noodles because Indomie had so much market advantage? For one, there wouldn’t have been a viable competition. Also, what about the hundreds of jobs that would have been missed?
The reality is, competitors will always exist—no matter what you do. So, to get ahead in business, this is how to approach competition without dread:
1. Realise that no idea is original
This may initially depress you, but no idea is really original. The world is full of uncountable interesting ideas just waiting to be implemented.
Usually, the ideas we come up with are often built on previous strokes of genius and are a reinvention of existing ideas in a new context.
Our point is: Competition is inevitable—it’s how you deal with it that really makes the difference.
2. Build on the little differences
Instead of yielding to the urge to wail about the similarities of a competitor’s ideas, define and sharpen what makes you different.
Regardless of how good they are, there should be at least one thing your company does better —more attention, more simplicity, more quality—you decide!
Once you find that small difference, build it up, exaggerate it, and incorporate it into all you do.
3. Never focus on the competition
While it’s important to be aware of the competitor’s tricks, be discreet while at it. Focusing on competition is a big innovation killer.
When your entire focus is on your competitors, you’ll start to believe that their ideas are the only possibilities for your company.
Yes, it’s important to keep an eye on the competition—but just one. The other needs to be looking beyond your competition for new insight and ideas.
4. Actually, every business is your competition
Your competition aren’t only companies that offer similar products. But in reality, your competition is everyone and everything that competes for the attention of your customer.
Realising this can be a great source of inspiration for your business. Whatever your business idea, when you approach the idea of competition with an open mind, it suddenly moves from a bad to good thing.
In conclusion, as entrepreneurs, it’s perfectly okay to have competition. It acts as fuel for invention and motivation.
Have you ever considered competition as a stimulating and exciting approach to entrepreneurship? Tell us in the comments!