Analysing the Competition
Analyse Your Competition
The number of direct competitors is a deciding factor between the success and failure of any niche market. A niche market can be very small, if it contains only one or two products that can be offered into a small market, with high competition, then your profits may be low, unless the item you are selling is of a high value and high ticket price. However, if the market is strong and you can create more than two niche products; it is very likely that your niche market may not become saturated with competitors.
You really need to do the research into the size of the niche market, it is advisable to determine your risk level in order to help you in confronting the competition all ready out there. When I started my niche student lettings business there was not much competition at all. It is believed by many experts that if you are passionate about the market niche you are a part of, then the task of dealing with the competitors will be easy and you will be enjoying your journey and don’t even consider the competition. That was the way I looked at my business to be honest. If on the other hand you are not enjoying the process of selling in the market you are in, it is better to switch your business to some other niche market.
There is never a right or wrong time to get started.
The 20th century has witnessed some incredible niche builders, they made their way through tough economic and social changes. For instance, in 1920s, the Walt Disney Company laid the foundations of its huge empire on the unknown art of child-like sketches which later came to be known as cartoons. The business was started during a very harsh economic environment that included the Great Depression, the Wall Street Crash and World War 2. It was beyond the expectations of the experts that the business of cartoons, being considered as silly, would prosper and grow through some of the toughest crises in the world’s history. Don’t delay starting your niche business because you consider the economy is stale.
So you see, it is advisable to spend a great deal of time in studying, researching and analysing the competition. You should consider both bricks and mortar and online business in your research. Start by asking the most basics questions that are outlined below.
- Ask what –
- types of products are they selling
- range of prices have they adopted for their niche products?
- are their major and minor strengths and weaknesses?
- In which ways can your business compete with the rivals?
In the case of your business, you can ask yourself the following questions.
- Is the product or service you are selling a good fit for the niche market right now?
- Have you refined the market down to a potential niche that you can cater to and something that is relevant to 2016/7 and into the next three to five years?
- Who exactly are you selling to?
You should certainly be thinking about the type of people in your niche market, and create your ideal potential client or customer, then go out and market to them directly.
TOP TIP – Find the competition and also your customers
The best way to discover who you can market to is to use the Facebook graph search function. Facebook rolled out a search function in 2014, which allows you to search for people, places and things. Try typing your niche into the search bar and see what Facebook suggests for you. If you are targeting people who like to Scuba Dive just type – scuba – into the search bar and you can find pages and groups with perhaps people you already know that are in that target group.
Sometimes finding your ideal target market is an easy task, my customers and clients came in two forms, one group was young college or school leavers who were entering Sunderland University, the other was property owners who were looking for the students to stay in their Sunderland student rental properties. A good rule of thumb states that rather than competing with your rivals on the same strategy, think out and implement a different and fresh angle that the competitors are either lacking or you believe you can capitalise on ten times better. In this way, you have a better chance to rise higher than your competitors. For me I was one of the first student letting agents in Sunderland to have an online presence.
Last but not the least, try to use personal branding. In today’s world, winning customers and overcoming the competition is straightforward. The direct and indirect, local and foreign, online and offline competitors still focus on old advertising mediums. You should focus on making more close and personal relationship with your targeted or niche customers. In other words, you have to “own” your product or service and make it stand out from the crowd. Compared to the past this will be an easier task because of the growth in social media. It is now 100x easier to engage with and reach out to people who are not directly known to you.
The combination of the above-mentioned strategies will lead you to business success in the long term. We should all drink to that, Cheers.
About the Author
Owner Manager of Student Rentals and Property Management Business for 10 years. Moved away from my home town of Sunderland 2015 to be with my partner Paul in York. Started an Amazon Prime Seller Account. Went out to Spain in April 2016 to oversee the work on our new Spanish home, and decided to sell out of Property Management and start over as a Digital Entrepreneur.