When you’re running a business, especially in a crowded marketplace where you’re fighting for every customers, it’s easy to get resentful of the competition – established players with deeper pockets than you can muster, new brands with distracting novelties like AI, and more, all trying to take a bite out of your apple.

It’s vital to have a plan for your vibrant, competitive marketplace, but there are right and wrong ways to go about it, and one of the wrong ways is to fall victim to that resentment and the desire to win at all costs.

The Positive Side of Competition

It’s vital to remind yourself of the positives of competition. A busy marketplace doesn’t just mean lots of competitors, it means lots of people spending money. If you’re in a crowded field, it means you’ve correctly detected opportunity!

Fellow business owners are also peers, and they’re vital: for networking, for learning new things and for your mental and as well! No one understands the difficulties of running a brick and mortar retail business in the 2020s like someone else who’s trying to run a brick and mortar retail business in the 2020s – at the right event your direct competitor can become your closest support.

Coming Up With a Plan

It’s more important to have a plan for how to approach this situation. And for that, you need data, analysis and insight. You might not know how to analyse competitors but there are consultants who do, and you’re doing yourself out of an opportunity if you don’t at least investigate the possibility of using them.

They can provide vital intelligence,  like a list of your most important competitors and an understanding of their capacity and finances, so you know how you rank in comparison. They can also help you predict what they’ll do and when – allowing you to schedule around them. If you accidentally launch your new product or summer sale the same day as a far bigger competitor, then your news will be lost and you’ll never get a fair hearing. Even going up against a more comparable sized brand, you raise the cost of marketing by competing with them directly on the same keywords, and force a pool of customers to choose between you.

Find the white space where you can make your pitch uninterrupted and you have the luxury to carve out a slice of the market for yourself and grow from this base.