“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.” – p. 4, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, by: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
When you’re starting out, you have to align your strengths with what people are willing to pay you for.
How do you know what people are willing to pay for? Look for competitors who are also good at what you do to see what services they offer, what services potential clients are willing to pay for, and how much they’re paying.
You can make one of two choices at this point: 1) sell what your competitors are selling, or 2) sell something they aren’t.
Selling the same service or product as lots of people means lots of competitors. Potential customers will start comparing you and all your competitors based almost exclusively on price. Not a place you want to be.
Selling something that few people are selling means fewer competitors, and potential customers will have to compare more than just price. They’ll also need to focus on other criteria like quality and customer service.
Know that even if your potential competitors appear successful, there isn’t a single business out there that’s perfect and (happily) serving every potential customer. Sure, they might seem like they know what they’re doing, but you don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes.
Focus on how you can best serve your potential customers by asking potential customers open-ended questions about the things they want that they’re not getting from your competition. Use that feedback to differentiate yourself from your competitors and you’ll be working on your own strategy rather than trying to replicate someone else’s.
Takeaway: Sell something that your customers want but that your competitors aren’t offering.