If you are deciding to make a go of it in a crowded industry, it can definitely be difficult to get going. Especially if you don’t have the same financial resources as other players in your industry. The good news is that just because the industry might be crowded doesn’t mean that you can’t find a place in it. Every year a relatively new company disrupts an existing structure because they were innovative, even if they didn’t have the same level of resources. Let’s take a look at how you can succeed in a crowded industry.
Find Your Competitive Advantage
Netflix and Facebook didn’t start out as major players. Netflix started out as a small company when Blockbuster was essentially running the market. But Netflix didn’t give up and resign itself to being a second or third tier company. It found its competitive advantage. Netflix decided that its users wouldn’t pay late fees for DVD rentals. That was something Blockbuster couldn’t compete with. And when streaming technology became available? Netflix jumped on it before the competition could and built up a massive user base. Find your competitive advantage and then milk it.
Acknowledge That You Can’t Change The Numbers
You aren’t going to be able to change the fact that you have competition. You can’t will away the biggest players in your industry. Acknowledge the situation and embrace the challenge. That is the only way that you and your team will be able to figure out what you are good at and develop a strategy for optimizing your success. Don’t worry about the things that you can’t change when you are just getting started. Focus on where you can make an impact. Which brings us to our next point.
Heighten Your Level Of Focus And Enthusiasm
Plenty of companies have had a great idea but failed because they couldn’t execute. Execution is key, and that takes both focus and enthusiasm. You need to be focused enough to take the great idea that you develop and to put it into action. Your team needs to be enthusiastic enough to maintain morale even when you hit a lull or things get tough. This might sound easy, but you’d be surprised how quickly focus can wane or morale can shrink in the face of a little bad news.
Just because you are going into business in a crowded industry doesn’t mean that you are doomed to mediocrity. Your business can grow and thrive as long as you are innovative and work to find your competitive advantage. There are plenty of examples of companies who have made it big despite having juggernauts in front of them. Netflix came up in the age of Blockbuster, and Facebook was built when Myspace was still around. Your business can succeed too, even if the playing field doesn’t seem level. Figure out what your advantage over the competition is, and then leverage it into new users and sales.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.
* Ladder to Sky image credit goes to: Samuel Zeller.