Have you been dreaming about ditching the nine to five job to start a business of your own? Being an entrepreneur involves a lot of hard work and these 8 points can help you get a real understanding of what it takes to crush the competition and ensure your strategic position.
Before you start anything, you need to understand your marketplace and your customers. Who are you going to be serving, how are you going to serve them, and how is the relationship with your customers going to be different? To answer these questions, you will need knowledge of your competition because they WILL be there and they WILL be evolving.
“Don’t go and do your research once and that’s it. Follow them. Get feedback from your customers even after you go live. Check out your competitors even after you go live.” – Fred Cary
One of our favorite entrepreneurial tools for competitor analysis is SEMrush. You can do all of your initial research on competitors and the landscape of your internet competition. This tool looks at what is currently on your website, the keywords you are trying to rank for, what content you have, at your organic and paid search, backlinks, and your display advertising. The first 10 searches are free. If you can’t afford SEMrush, then you could use this other tool called Statista. It will tell you what is going on in the US and around the world. You will find the latest trends and a lot of information that will help you understand the market to get you started.
“You’re not going to get up one day and figure out what to do even with all this intelligence and do it right the first time. It just doesn’t happen.” – Fred Cary
When you see things are not going the way you would like them to go, the most important thing you can do is not give up. Your perfect position is out there. You just need to find that spot. First, understand that this spot is going to change from time to time and you have to stick with it.
Although the entrepreneurial tools we’ve mentioned above are great resources, if you don’t know what you’re looking at then they’ll have no value for your business.
“Get an experienced professional team around you because all of these things that we’re talking about, you really can’t do it by yourself.” -Fred Cary
Our partners have chosen us as their experienced team to help them with those sides of the business. If you are going to try it alone and you don’t have deep knowledge about all these things, find the team sooner than later. Even if it is just a couple of people with a marketing background.
Never underestimate the competitive landscape. Respect your competitor. Believe that he/she can do anything you can do and maybe even more. This will inspire you to be smarter and faster. Remember that they’re in the same place as you and they will be watching you too. Be careful, but respectful. If you want to learn more about tactics, how to be decisive, how to exploit your competitors’ weaknesses and avoid their strengths, there is a great book called The Art of War. You will find many examples of battle strategies that can be applied to modern business.
“If you find out what those competitors are good at. If they’re way bigger with bigger budgets than you then don’t try to go head-to-head with that. Find out what they’re not good at and lead with that.” – Fred Cary
Knowing what to do is not the same as doing it, is it? With the knowledge you gather about the competition, your position, and marketing strategies you have to execute well.
“If you didn’t do it right today, get up tomorrow morning, and do it again until you perfect it.” – Fred Cary
It’s very unlikely that everything you do, you’re going to do perfectly. The important thing is to learn, deal with it, and move forward. Whatever the competition is doing, however bad it may look, is a new opportunity for you. Failure doesn’t exist either you win or you learn.
“Resilience is the ability to get up, pick up the pieces, and refashion whatever you need to refashion to keep going regardless of what’s thrown at you.” – Fred Cary
When we have what we consider an excellent idea, we tend to marry it and this marriage gets in the way of our success. To win in the entrepreneurial battle, we have to take advantage of the changes around us and adjust our vision to answer our customers’ needs.
Quicken is a good example. They started as a personal taxes tool. When they did consumer surveys they found out that there was a substantial number of their customers that were using Quicken for their small business. Today, QuickBooks represents 90% of its revenue.
“Don’t ever be afraid to change your mind or to change your direction because if you don’t change you’re going to stagnate.” Fred Cary
Today people can learn about you and your business even if you have a limited budget.
Take advantage of the possibilities social media offers is substantial to your success:
A tool you can use to upgrade your performance on social platforms is Google Alerts. You can keep an eye on what is being said about your brand, your company name, your competitors, common keyword phrases for your industry, and it is completely free!
“Work hard, study hard, never give up, and you’re gonna make it.” – Fred Cary
IdeaPros is a Super Venture Partner™ who has the resources, experience, and tools to help you succeed at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest in the success of their idea. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.