8 Awesome Lessons Your Competitors Can Teach You about Entrepreneurship

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Apr 2015
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Author : Pete Peranzo

These have been some of the greatest business rivals of all time. Their stories have helped shape the modern entrepreneurship business world.

Google and Yahoo.

Facebook and Myspace.

Blockbuster and Netflix.

What comes to your mind when you think of these companies?

Competitors!!!

These have been some of the greatest business rivals of all time. Their stories have helped shape the modern business world.

The thing which has helped some of these businesses achieve the position they have always wanted to is, Competition.

Are you wondering how?

Competition helps businesses stand out. It helps to differentiate their products and services from other players in the niche. Competition doesn’t just create winners and success stories. It builds strong personalities, resilience, determination, a sense of humor and humility.

Competition isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, it helps you survive and prosper.

Where would you be without your competitors?

Think about it.

Zero competition means you are the only player in your niche, which clearly indicates there’s absolutely no competition at all. You don’t see the need to price your products competitively. Neither do you wish to work upon improving your products, considering you think it’s already the best you are offering.

Let’s say, in this scenario, there’s an unexpected entry of a competitor who has better products to offer and that too at a much better price, how do you deal with that?

You can’t, because your business is completely unprepared. This is why competition is important. It helps you strive toward success, finding solutions for challenges and going one up over your competition.

Let’s see how you can become a better entrepreneur by learning from your competitors:

1. Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Do you want to learn about your competitors’ newest product releases, their customer’s grievances or see which parts of their content strategy work effectively and which ones don’t?

Social media is your answer.

Your competition can teach you a lot about their business through social platforms.

• By keeping an eye on your competitors’ content on social channels, you can learn the general outline of your competitors’ public facing strategy, as well as take note of their current initiatives.
• Your competitors’ blog posts can help you compare the level of expertise offered by your channels versus theirs.
• If they have missed any chance to address an issue on any social channels, you can take that up as an opportunity, thereby giving you a chance to show off your product and services.
• More likes and comments on your competitors’ post can help you understand more about the way tweets and posts are supposed to be presented.
• If they are using social channels to support customer service, then you can go along the same lines to build customer reputation.

2. Learning from Their Mistakes

One of the most incredibly important lessons to learn from your competition is what doesn’t work or what fails for them. Once you are aware of the tactic that doesn’t deliver returns for your competitors, you don’t have to waste your time on it.

When Adam Toren, the co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com founded his company 12 years ago, he engaged a firm to design and develop his site. But, the web design company he’d hired botched the job so badly that he had no other option but to hire someone else to completely redo the project.

The problem – He’d underestimated the importance of consulting a lawyer on high-stake agreements.

As it turned out, his agreement with the original firm didn’t include a service-level agreement or clear performance expectations, so he had to pay the amount that was due to them.

He might have won in court, but not before spending a lot on legal fees.

Lesson learnt: When it comes to high-stake agreements, having an attorney on your side can be your most valuable asset.

This is one of the many lessons you can learn from your competitors’ business and their failures. Once you have figured out who your competitors are, it’s important that you analyze the bejesus out of their business, so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

3. Injecting Personality into Business

What if your potential customers are able to connect/relate to your competition more than they do with your business?

And you simply cannot figure out the reason.

Well the answer is their business’s/brand’s personality.

Everything can be copied: Products, Price and even the Website. But there’s only one thing that cannot be copied. And that’s personality. Your business’s personality makes you stand apart from your rivals.

Do you want to know the easiest way to drive away your sales?

Engage with your customers in a robotic rather than a human way.

Yes, without personality, your business will witness a huge setback. It’s very important for businesses to dig into the human characteristics associated with their brands.

Personality goes a long way in business and one of the best examples is Coca Cola. Coco Cola has won millions of hearts and it is not because it quenches thirst or anything but it is mainly because it evokes emotion, feelings and memories. The brand has become synonymous with happiness, friendship and fun.

4. Adopting a Schedule

If your competitors are on top of their business, pay close attention to their schedule- product launches, press releases and major upgrades. How frequently do they come up with something new? This matters, because you can be prepared with something similar or much better whose release is scheduled around the same time; this will keep your competitors on their toes.

Analyzing your competitor’s schedule is also beneficial, because you will get an idea of what kind of marketing strategies work best in your industry. Use their schedule to build your own base schedule with your own fresh ideas.

5. Knowing Where You Stand

One of the aspects which hold utmost importance for the successful establishment of market positions in the business world is competitive analysis.

Competitor Analysis is not about copying your competitors’ business. It’s about understanding their business and marketing strategies. Once you do that, you know your market position. It paints a picture of not only your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses but even yours. Another good way to know your market position is to see how you rank online by typing selected keywords in the search engine.

The immediate thing to do after this is to learn how to be better.

6. Coming Up With Better Marketing Strategies

Performing competitive market analysis allows you to identify gaps within the market.

For example, while sifting through customer reviews on your competitors’ websites, you may notice users complain there is no product available at a lower price point. Armed with this knowledge, you can competitively price your product and develop a marketing strategy that highlights the lower price point, allowing you to fill that gap.

This way competition helps you strive for better outcomes and come up with better strategies.

7. Never Giving Up

If your competitors happen to be ferociously successful and hit the nail on the head almost every time, you know you are dealing with some really tough competition. Instead of throwing in the towel and envying their every move, you can turn the situation around and come up with some smart marketing strategy of your own.

Your competitors can increase your hunger for success and motivate you to not give up.

One of the biggest examples of this is Henry Ford. The founder of Ford Motor Company, he stands tall as a pioneer of modern business. He faced severe competition and failed a lot of times on his route to success. The entire motor industry had lost faith in Henry Ford, but he was not deterred. He found another investor to start the Ford Motor Company, and the rest is history.

8. Understanding The Value of Good Marketing Strategies and Plans

How well your business forges ahead depends on one very important thing – Marketing Strategy.

Bad marketing can cause your business to stagnate. Poor planning, improper execution, unclear goals, out-of-date thinking and just flat-out zero direction can all be responsible for this state of affairs.

Compare your marketing strategies to the competition and see how yours stack up to them. If they have considerably better plans and tactics, carefully analyze what you are missing and strategize a plan to get ahead. This whole process will lead you to understanding the value of good marketing plans.

These lessons clearly state the importance of competition and how you can benefit from your competitors. Without competition, there won’t be any innovation. Civilizations won’t advance forward. Your competition makes you stronger. Its time you make the best use of it.

 

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