Why Too Much Competition is the Best Problem Ever

iowa state fair snacks

For entrepreneurs, a good sense of marketing is prerequisite for survival, even if you do not know exactly how to do it. If you did not get that MBA before you began business, many of these kinds of skills are learn-as-you-go. After all, most entrepreneurs do not start business because they just can’t wait to get at the accounting. They start because they love to cook, or they love plants, or they love to cut hair–not because they want to learn the mechanics of business. If you are a chef, you just want to get your head down and create that culinary masterpiece on a plate. But even if you create it? Most entrepreneurs do not want to toot the horn, even if it is a masterpiece. They would rather other people to do it for them. We were taught not to brag, right?

Unfortunately, “if you build it, they will come” as a business philosophy is a pipe dream. Even if you have the best gourmet hamburger in town, no one is obligated to come. You must give them a reason. Your friends, family, and neighbors will eventually tire of your gourmet hamburgers, and you will need to bring in new customers. And if you have not noticed, the hamburger industry is a crowded place. Many industries are crowded.

Which brings me to my point: Competition is good for us.

Right now, the Iowa State Fair is in full swing with concession stands every 15’ ready to sell you anything that will stay long enough on a stick to be consumed. Whether frozen, fluffed, or fried–there is something to satisfy your every fetish and craving. No one is counting calories at the Fair. No one cares if that two-bite treat costs $6.50 plus tax. Everyone has money in their pockets waiting to fly out to purchase the newest confectionary adventure. And let me tell you, if there is an ice cream bar to die for? I’m signing up to die. And there are thousands behind me.

You should see all the competition! Here is why it is good for us:

Much competition means much demand! Demand is a prerequisite to selling anything!

Much competition draws more customers, because they find many choices in the same area. Someone is going to get the sale–might as well be you, right?

Much competition demands that I become a better business person. To attract customers away from my competitor, I must make my product better. I cannot just make claims about it–I have to prove those claims, or the customer will not come back. I must out-serve, out-perform, and out-do my competition in customer service. I must be better than I was yesterday, and find new things to sell tomorrow. To make a profit, I must make my business work like a finely-oiled machine. It makes me be a better me.

Much competition means the door is wide open for opportunity. All you need in such a case is better marketing. All this month we have been talking about the Unique Value Proposition. A Unique Value Proposition is something that you can say about your business that your competitor cannot say. Easy? Not on your life. Thinking about it can blow your mind. But thinking about it will also make your product blow my mind! It forces you to do market research–to find the gap in your competitor’s offerings, and to create your own niche. It forces you to do business in a whole new way.

More important that anything, much competition forces you to know your customer–the best marketing strategy ever.

“Haven’t small businesses failed because of too much competition?”, you might ask. Perhaps. But probably not. More businesses fail because they have not done the research to find out what the customer really wants.

Why not focus on what you do best, rather than turning around to see where your competitor is at in the race? Focusing on others in the race makes you trip. It makes you a follower, not a leader.

Get your head down, and work on making your customer happy. Focus on being the best business you can be, and you will find yourself in the lead.


etc!graphics exists to help your business develop its own Visual Voice. We help you design your Brand into a visual language. But what if you do not have a strong Brand? If you do not know what your brand stands for, it will be difficult to craft a clear visual language to match. We want to help. Stay tuned all this month for Parts IV of Your Message, Loud & Clear. You can read Part I here, Part II here.

For more information like this, please visit our website at www.etcgraphics.com/thincblog