One of the most challenging aspects of putting up a business is dealing with competitors who want to get a share of your market. But this is one of the realities in business that you have to deal with so strategizing even at the start of your operations is important.
It is not only essential to understand your direct competitors because there are also indirect competitors in the market. This means that most of the products that are available in the market have complements and substitutes. For example, if a customer wants to buy powdered milk and he could not find any powdered milk available in the grocery store, he may opt to buy the milk in liquid form instead. Similarly, this is also true for any industries because people will always find substitutes for products they cannot find. In line with this having an effective distribution channel that can reach your target customer at their locations will help you greatly in realizing your profit potential.
It would also be wise to look at the product features of your competitors, the price range, and the product quality they offer. This is because being aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and contrasting it with your own will allow you to formulate strategies that will let you compete effectively in the market. If you are weak in one area and strong in another, it would be wise to put emphasis on your strong points and not challenge your competitors on features that are your weak points. However, you should also expect that there are times when your competitors will point out your weaknesses to your target market to get a larger share, in this case, you need to be sure that your strong points is enough to compensate for the things that you lack.
In addition to your current competitors, you should also anticipate future competitors because it is possible that many of them will enter the market in a few years. Having a strong strategy and an established customer relationship will enable your business to survive these challenges. It is observed that most new companies put emphasis on their lower price range and this can either be a good thing or a bad thing for your company. For example, it can be a good thing if the product that new entrants offer has a low price but inferior quality as well because it will establish your brand as a superior product. However, if they are offering superior products at a much lesser price, then you may need to engage in a price war. Always remember though, that your strategies should depend on your particular situation and the perception of your market.