If I’m setting up a business I confess to cutting a few corners, but as a serial entrepreneur, I tend to have a constant eye on the market, competition, prices and much, much more.
It struck me though, that some of the rules I follow don’t really have to be set in concrete. Most business people would consider these top points before setting out (in business or production/sale of something new)
- Ease of entry to the market for your competitors
- Potential margins
- Cost of entry
- Ease of supply
And whilst there’s much more to consider, there are those that will look at successful competitors and decide not to enter their market. My point here though is not to be too hasty to dump that new idea.
It could just be the case that you would be very much better at providing the service your competitor does than they are. Lets face it that happens all the time. In the same vein though think back to the point about “ease of entry”. If they sell black widgets and you’ve identified a market for coloured widgets don’t forget that with the boot on the other foot, it would probably take your competitors 10 minutes to turn the tables on you and offer a similar range. Thus ease of entry is an important factor from many aspects. How difficult would it be for your competitors to enter your chosen market place?
Most importantly though you will need a Unique Selling Proposition, something that only you can provide. It might be that by being bigger you can do X, or being the smallest you can offer Y. In any event it is that uniqueness that will enable you to sell something or provide a service in a given way that your competitors may struggle with.
If you’re looking for inspiration spend time reading business reports and articles. You might like to think about a quick trip to the States or elsewhere in Europe for inspiration and you will probably be surprised at the number of businesses or services you’ll find abroad that we don’t have in the UK. Just because it has already been done doesn’t mean you can’t do it better.