Starting a business means you’ll be in competition with other companies that already exist. It’s actually a good thing if you have competition to go up against. Competition pushes you to be innovative. It also means there’s an established market for your goods or services.

The key to benefitting from competition is knowing how to effectively take on competitors so your company earns a profit. Here are some ways to get ahead of established companies and grow your business.

1. Respond to customer needs

Large businesses have weaknesses. The bigger they are, the less personalised and responsive their service is. They market themselves to a wider audience and, because their overhead is higher, they have to bring in more clients to cover their costs.

In this respect, your size is an advantage. Fewer customers means more personal service. That opportunity for relationship building will entice customers who are looking for extra attention.

Examine what people love about your competitors but also what frustrates them. Build your business to address those gaps. If you find early on that something isn’t working with your customers, don’t be afraid to shift. Be innovative in responding to market changes and customer demands. You’ll have an easier time making that change early than once you’re more fully established.

2. Show what makes you different

Your business offers something different from the established brands. If you didn’t have something unique, you wouldn’t be starting a business. You’re different from what’s already out there—and that’s what makes you attractive to your target market.

Do you offer goods that are only locally produced? Products that are ethically sourced? Do you have special knowledge or expertise in your industry? Are you offering a service that has a new component, such as a technological advantage? Does your product fill an existing gap in the market? Whatever it is that makes you different, market that. Make sure people know why and how you’re unique.

3. Take advantage of existing knowledge

If there’s already established competition in your industry, that’s a good thing. It means someone has already done vital research on your customers’ needs and pain points.

You can learn from the knowledge that already exists by studying your competition. Look at their website, social media and review sites. Take note of how they sell their goods or services. Are they using tactics relevant for you? Are their strategies effective? Are there weaknesses in their marketing or offerings that you can address?

Rather than spending your money doing your own research, learn from the businesses that have gone before you.

4. Focus on your audience

There’s room enough in most industries for competition. While it’s a good idea to know who you’re up against, ultimately your customers are your priority. Focus your efforts on providing goods and services that are meaningful to them, that address their pain points and that make their lives better. Market yourself to make those aspects clear. Show them why you’re the ideal company for them to buy from.

Final thoughts

By using these 4 strategies you can effectively take on the competition and help your start-up business be successful.

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