Competition · Pivot

You just found out that you have a direct competitor. How do you respond?

Harpreet Singh Senior QA Engineer (Freelancer)

April 17th, 2017

My friend established a food delivery service in a small but unserved market and had his run of the entire market for about a year. He did fairly well during that time and another business seemingly used that period to validate the idea as a whole. Now they have begun offering similar services. My friend was admittedly naive to think he would dominate the market forever. During the past year he was focused on growth and not anticipating or beating competition. How would you advise him to respond? Pivot to differentiate himself — and change something that’s working? Lower prices?

Henry Daas Coach-Approach Strategic Advisor

April 17th, 2017

Is his only competitive advantage that he has (had) a monopoly? If so, then he needs to (re)evaluate why he went into business in the first place! Not unusual for a competitor to allow an entrepreneur to assume the risk of determining whether a market exists, then swooping in and trying to steal their lunch. Happens all the time.

Reminds of the old a parable. Barber charges $20 for a haircut. Big chain moves in across the street, charges $6. Guy panics - what do I do? Business coach has a sign printed up for the barber and puts it in his window. It reads 'we fix $6 haircuts'.

Competition is good - means someone else valued your work enough to copy it. But if you want to keep your market share, you're going to have to fight for it. May the best man win...