As I mentioned in the first part of this “Crash” course, I was the victim of a hit and run accident. When I say “run,” I mean literally. The driver who hit me got out of his car and took off on foot, leaving his car at the scene of the accident. Who was that guy?
You may very well ask yourself that same question when an upstart company starts eating away at your market share. A sudden attack to your business may come as a surprise. We’ve already reviewed how to be prepared and that you need to keep your eyes open to possible threats. Now, it is time to focus on who could be coming after you next.
Before you even start your new company or launch your new product you better understand the competitive landscape. Who are the big players? Who are the little guys with lots of momentum? Take a look at their strengths and weaknesses and how you compare side-by-side.
Don’t go into a market completely blind. First, do your homework.
With a competitive view of the marketplace, you’ll identify the various companies that directly compete with you. Put these on your list to watch. Odds are these established players have large market shares, revenues, and resources. They can not be ignored. Perhaps you can even learn something from them. Learn what mistakes they’ve made so you don’t have to repeat them.
Who could enter your market and compete with you? Are there companies out there that like to innovate in your product space? What if Google decided to jump into the fray with something out of their labs?
Potential enemies may have barriers to entry into your market. However, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t currently be working on overcoming those in secret. Be ready.
You can’t predict every possible attacker that may arise. However, when they do strike, you need to immediately survey the situation. Don’t dismiss a new company on the map as a passing fad or of little concern. Investigate the rival business and how its efforts will affect your company’s products.
Once you identify your enemy, you can form a strategy to successfully compete. We’ll talk more about how to recover from an attack in the upcoming fourth and last installment of this Business “Crash” Course.
Read previous parts of this series: