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Competition: How To Make It Work For You

Competition is a good thing. It just means that you aren't alone in recognizing the market potential for what your business offers.

What good is it if you're the only company that sells a product to a non-existent market?

Having competition can actually work for you instead of against you.

Product awareness, establishing or even creating a need for a product - these are things your competitors can actually help you to do.

The face of competition has changed, though, and it's going to keep changing.

Competition isn't all about geography.

If you're the only gift shop in town, for example, you might assume that you have the market all to yourself. That's not necessarily true, though.

Mail order companies and online businesses all have a potential stake in the same market.

Almost without exception, you can count on having competition that extends far beyond your own community.

On the positive side, you have the same potential to expand your market without geographical limitations.

That market is only limited by those to whom you can distribute your products or perform your services.

So, how can you mimimize the effect of your competition and maximize the size of your market?

Technically, anyone who can provide the same products or services to the same market is competition.

The key is to be different, to offer something your competition doesn't.

Handwritten notes to customers thanking them for their purchase is one. Painting your delivery vehicle neon green is another. Whether it works for you or not depends on your business - and you.

However, there are few businesses that won't benefit from a handwritten note to a customer. For the price of a stamp and a couple of minutes of your time, you can make a lasting impression and possibly transform a one-time purchase into a lifetime customer.

Injecting personality into your business can be the difference between someone buying from you and buying from someone else.

The two key questions you have to answer for your customers is:
  • Why should they buy what you sell
  • Why should they buy it from you?
In business, you are constantly selling yourself to prospective customers, and actively working to retain your current customers.

If your business is unique, that effectively eliminates your competition.

For more on differentiating yourself from your competitors, read's:
10 Ways to Make Your Competition Disappear

Differentiate Yourself
Information Marketing
Building Customer Loyalty
Getting Customer Feedback
How to Define a Niche
Discovering Niches
Finding New Customers
Indirect Benefits
The Consumer's Perspective
Promotional Marketing
Pricing Products and Services
Viral Marketing Magic
Marketing Mix
Website Niches
Cheap Advertising Strategies
Complementary Marketing

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