By Abigirl Phiri
EVERY entrepreneur should brace up for competition because one won’t be operating in a vacuum. Understanding your competition will help an entrepreneur to implement good strategies. Needless to mention, this also goes for big corporates. Indeed, if you choose to ignore competition then be prepared for the big surprise that they will catch up. Particularly in business there is need for constant vigilance that your competitors will not drop a bomb in your lap. Given half a chance to catch you unaware like this, it will definitely cost you in the long run.
It is really hard to win customers especially at the start of the entrepreneurial venture so marketing efforts have to be done for awareness sake. To make matters worse, there will be other players to contend with as you will be fighting for the same customers who have the purse strings. At most times, these other players present direct competition for they will be in the same line of trade.
Nevertheless, for high tech entrepreneurial ventures entailed in creating novel innovations this might not be the case but eventually the business will attract competitors as soon as people see its lucrativeness through modifying the technology being used. Consequently, as an entrepreneur you need to be smart in how you operate. Get to know your intended customers. Tabulate what they want, solve their problems and you will get the green bucks after all you will be capitalising on the opportunity gap left by others.
Also, interact with your customers so that you get to know the pointers of why your product or service is lagging behind. The customer is the king and as an entrepreneurial venture the quest is to go the extra mile in satisfying this niche market. Adding to that, you have to commit it to memory that you have a reputation to keep. In most cases, once it is dragged through the mud then your credibility in the business world is ruined forever.
That said, note carefully how your competitors operate lest they oust you from business if you do not pay attention to their every move. History has it giant corporates were turned to white elephants due to not batting an eye lash to what their competitors were doing to out maneuver them in this jungle. In this digital era also follow closely your competitors social media pages since most people spend the better part of their time connected to the internet. Accordingly, get up to date information about your competitors through the legal and professional route and never get your venture involved in nasty company espionage dramas just because you want accurate intel.
Maximise on your strengths that your company has. In the instance of an entrepreneur, it is the ability to proffer goods that creatively disrupts the norm. Actually, take note also on your weakness and work on ways that limit their damage on your overall entrepreneurial venture performance. The external factors such as opportunities and threats are inevitable but as an entrepreneur you need to be flexible and ever ready to face uncertainties. Notably, entrepreneurs thrive on the rule of the thumb that of uncertainties and volatility. One point to etch in one’s brain is to never underestimate any kind of competition because that can turn deadly for you.
After everything has been said and done, serve your customers very well to such an extent of using kid gloves. Furthermore, seriously note their raised concerns or complaints that they would have lodged. Similarly, ensure quality wise you comply and meet up with the present governing relevant boards to boot. Again know how you are positioned in the customer’s minds. Interestingly, never tire emphasizing why your brand is a cut above the rest in comparison to other players. Consequently, the bright side of competition is that it keeps you on your toes creating interesting products or services. Evidently, you will never run out of ideas in a bid to stay relevant to your target market.
In light of the stated above, even it means playing around with the prices to win a huge chunk of the customer base you will have to do so but not on the terms of ever compromising quality. When the going gets tough that is when good things are created. Without no shadow of doubt, the SWOT analysis is one of the frameworks which you should never do without when in business. This is because it gives you a heads up were strategy is concerned, no wonder sometimes it is called the situational analysis.
Again, competition can be used as a benchmark to up your game were you will be lagging behind especially technological wise. The battle is who comes up with the best technological inventions that ease day to day problems of the general masses effectively. For that reason, may the best entrepreneur win in this interesting competitive business arena especially that in Zimbabwe which is turbulent.
Gurus in business research acknowledged that an entrepreneur should never be intimidated by competition or the size of the players you are fighting with. Undoubtedly, in this battle of wills those with the best strategy will reap the fruits of huge sales volume growth. Worth noting in this fight as an entrepreneur your team should also be aligned to the goal to such an extent that they will give it as good as they get.
Biblically, even David was able to win the battle he had with Goliath the giant. Undoubtedly, his win was not at all by chance but the enlightened mentality he had. At the end of the day, it boils down to how effective your strategy is. Other entrepreneurs will choose to play dirty but that will only bring short term results. In fact, what needs to be done is to capture your audience to the point that they will eat out of palms for they won’t be able to go another day without your innovative products or services. Lucidly, my treasured entrepreneurs this is called winning the mind of the customers adroitly.