This is from my post on Corpnet.
When you think about how many competitors your business has, you might feel daunted. But, as my husband always says: having competition means your idea is validated. There’s a market for what you’re trying to sell. The key is knowing how you’re different from the competition and using that to market yourself. Here’s how.
Who Are Your Competitors?
The first step in knowing how to stand out is to identify your main competitors. If you’re a local bakery, for example, your primary competitors will be other bakeries. If you’re a global consulting company, your competitors will be a little harder to identify. Focus on the ones you keep hearing about to start.
Also, look at your indirect competitors. For that local bakery, that would include the bakery departments at local grocery stores, as well as online bakeries. Indirect competitors fill the same need, even if it’s in a different way.
What’s Special About Them?
Once you’ve made a list of a handful of your competitors, spend time analyzing them. What do customers like about them? What do they dislike? (Yelp is a great resource to help with what customers really think) In what ways are you different from your competitors?
If you’re just starting your business, seeing the areas your competitors could stand to improve in provides you ample opportunity to expand into these areas yourself. For example, if your biggest bakery competitor makes the best cinnamon rolls in town, but doesn’t even touch pet treats, this could be a great product for you to add to your line.
To read the entire post, click here.
Photo: OneEighteen on Flickr