Know Thy Enemies!
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. We have all heard of this before. Can this saying be applied to your business? Lets just say this saying will help you a lot in the survival of your bu...
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. We have all heard of this before. Can this saying be applied to your business? Lets just say this saying will help you a lot in the survival of your business.
We all know that setting up a business means taking a share of the market and defending it from your competitors. In doing your online or offline business, this is a fact. Hence it is imperative that you understand your competitors, whether direct or indirect, before you can be successful.
1. Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats (SWOT) Analysis
To understand your competitors, you can perform a SWOT analysis. This is a good tool to analyse your competitors and yourself too. You should do this first before you even start up your business.
Look at your competitors' product range, features, price range and quality. Then you take stock of your own product range, features, price range and quality. By benchmarking your competitors' products to your own, you can map out your competitors' as well as your own strength and weaknesses. This will help you to formulate your strategies to compete more effectively. If you are weak in an area but strong in another, put emphasis on your strong points and don't challenge your competitors in your weak points.
On the flip side of it, your competitors can challenge your weak areas to gain market share, so you have to make sure that your strong points are good enough to compensate for the weak ones.
Take note take your competitors' weaknesses can be new market opportunities for you. And your weaknesses may be a threat to your business survival.
2. Distribution channel
Most products available in the market have complements and substitutes. Eg, a customer walks into a supermarket and wants to buy ham. However, he could not find ham, so he may choose to buy Spam instead. As a buyer, we will always find substitutes for products that we cannot find.
So what does it mean? Well, having an effective distribution channel that can reach your target customers at their location will help you greatly in closing your sale.
3. Future Competitors
Apart from your existing competitors, you have to brace yourself for new competitors jumping into the market. By establishing a strong customer relationship and a good strategy, your business should be able to hold off new challenges.
In general, new entrants like to compete on pricing, ie they focus on low price. This strategy can work for you as a double edged sword. If the new competitor offer low priced and inferior quality products, then you can establish your brand as a superior quality product. However, if they offer superior quality products at a cheaper price, then you may have to engage in a price war.
All in all, you need to strategise your plan of attack and defence constantly. In order to formulate successful strategies, you have to know what are your strengths and weaknesses as well as your competitors. With these information you can take advantage of your competitors' weaknesses by using your strong points while defending your weakness from competitors' attacks.
Article Tags: Strong Points
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Hai Liang strive to help beginners who would like to start home based business and succeed in it. Visit Proven Home Based Business Ideas And Opportunities For Novice.