How To Deal With New Competition

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You see a Twitter update for a new business. They do what you do! Don’t panic. Try taking these steps.

So we kind of touched on competition last week.

Go back to the post on saturated markets for some good tips on dealing with that situation; part of which is new competition.

But today I want to expand on the idea of new competition.

It can happen even if your market isn’t yet saturated. It can happen even if your market won’t become saturated. It’s just a reality that if you’re doing well and others know it or if others see the same opportunity that you’ll have competition. It’s how the free market works.

So let’s get into some ways to handle yourself when new competition enters the market.

Tip #1. Assess The New Business, Look At Differentiators

The first step would be to not panic. That won’t help anything. You’ll still be in business for a while. It’s time for some analysis, but you can only do that if you’re not panicking.

Take a look at the new business. Go through their website. Check out their chatter on social media with their followers. Just observe what they’re doing and get a feel for their offer and their experience.

You’re trying to pick up on what they want to do and not necessarily what they’re doing now. Get a feel for what they’re doing and look for the immediate differentiators.

Maybe they’re trying to leap frog you with something different. Then you might have to assess on if you change or maybe you feel that you’re in a different niche and you want to stay in that niche.

You don’t want to make rash decisions. You want to see what’s going on and look internally at what your customers have been saying and doing and from that information you can determine if change is needed.

Tip #2. Assess The Market Landscape

To expand on that you want to look at the market. Do some research on what’s been happening in the industry in general. You can see what popular industry sites have been covering.

I remember a big change in the web design industry a few years ago was responsive design. For some design firms, new competitors came along offering responsive design. That’s different, but then the established design firm would have needed to go read about the mobile web and trends. They would have seen that more people are accessing websites via mobile every day. Maybe it’s time to focus on responsive design.

Just because someone is coming in with something different, though, doesn’t mean that’s where the market is going. I used to work in the footwear industry and companies were always trying new designs. That didn’t mean that every company would copy. They would only move if they thought the industry or the market would be moving that way in the future.

Your competition can indicate changes you need to make, but the market is a bigger indicator.

Tip #3. Look For Additional Opportunities

Sometimes the market won’t know what’s coming next. There are usually indicators, but you have to be experienced and observant to really see what’s coming in the future.

You work in your industry every day so you’re probably pretty good at seeing these indicators. But you have to take the time to look around and pay attention to your clients and see if there are new opportunities.

Sometimes you get busy working and doing the day-to-day things that you don’t notice that 10 clients have been asking about something or saying they’re struggling with something.

That can be an opportunity.

Not always, but when new competition is coming in it’s a good time to look for opportunities.

Final Thought

You don’t need to panic when new competition come on the scene.

It happens.

It will happen.

But you do want to take a few steps. You want to keep doing well the things you do well. You want to look for differentiators because those are always a reason people will come to you over new competition.

And you want to look for new opportunities. See what’s happening in the market. See if the new competitor is moving with the market or if you still are.

Then look for opportunities and see if you can jump ahead of everybody else.

It happens in every industry. I think the above steps are pretty good ways to take action when it does happen.

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