In the meantime, he developed his own, unique photographic style which today is leaps and bounds above what his competitors are producing (i.e. I realize that I could be a little biased here!). One year later he decided to use his new strengths to his advantage and position the business as a market leader with a product leadership model.
He changed business communication to reflect a more premium offering by altering packages and pricing, and subsequently, redesigned the experience customers have during his photo shoots. I followed a similar strategy in my own business, and it’s proven to be a smart way of capturing and maintaining a competitive edge during the startup phase.
3. Play to your strengths.
Most people who start a business will default to the product leadership focus. A doctor will claim to be the best doctor in town. A builder will declare that he is the most experienced builder around. But unless you’re sitting on technology which is the next Google, or have a talent which makes you a prodigy, during your early startup phase you’ll probably go through a process of rapidly learning to be even better at doing what you do.
It doesn’t matter that you’ve already worked in your niche ten years for someone else. Once you start a business, the bar is much higher. It’s normal to find yourself outgunned and out-marketed by established players.
However, established players tend to be lazy, slow, and have poor attention to market nuances. This is where you, as a newcomer, come in to the marketplace. You can do something that established competitors can’t — use your small size and maneuverability to exploit weaknesses of your competitors by swiftly adjusting your business strategy in order to fill a market gap and rise to the top.
Connect with Irene Kotov on Twitter.
Irene Kotov is a serial entrepreneur whose latest venture, Arielle Careers, helps senior executives get jobs in exciting companies.
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