Chapter 5: Understanding Competition: Who are your Competitors?

One of the key factors that affect businesses positively or adversely is Competition. If you know your competition well and therefore you’re providing a product that’s unique and better than your competition, you’re on the right track.

Many consider competition to be a bad thing, but that’s not necessarily true. Beating competition is a tall order (in many cases), but finding an unserved market sometimes is a more difficult task. Also, if there exists an opportunity that is completely unserved, sometimes it means that there may not be a significant opportunity there. In such cases, customer creation requires a lot more money and resources. Thus it is wiser and easier today to find competition to gauge the opportunity and find out how they serve customers’ needs.

Discovering and analyzing competition will help you in various ways. Below are a few of them:

  • It pushes you out of your comfort zone and enables you to do your best.
  • In the process, it builds your self-confidence.
  • It teaches you perseverance and keeps you from failing in your endeavors.
  • It makes you a smart thinker.
  • It gives you a feeling of fulfillment. When you accomplish something radically new and innovative, you feel confident.
  • You attract various opportunities.
  • It helps you build strong and positive relationships.
  • It makes you a keen learner as there is always someone introducing better products.

What do you get to learn from your competition?

  • First, you study your customers’ needs and how well they are served currently.
  • Second, once you’ve understood that, you decide what to focus on to create a niche market for yourself.
  • Third, after these two analyses, you build a product to give your customers a better product.

Given all these factors, now let’s conduct a comparative study in detail to know where you stand.

You already have identified your potential customers’ pain points in chapter 2 of The Founder’s Guide to Building a Successful Business. You know how you want to solve them through your business. It’s time to recognize how your competitors are currently solving the same problem in a more detailed manner. The goal of this exercise is to know the factors that can help you gain an edge over your competition.

To understand it better and strengthen your findings with facts, I suggest you visit online customer forums, evaluate customer feedback and speak to a few customers about the product of your identified competitors.

By now you know fairly well how your competitors are solving your customers’ problems. You have also analyzed all possible ways to solve those issues in a better manner. It’s time to determine your key-value proposition that you will deliver to your customers. Let’s discuss that in the next chapter.

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