Start ups: Surviving competition
Surviving the competition as a new business is not easy; you will have to go through a bumpy road to break even.
In a business environment, it is always difficult for start-ups to break the dominance of already existing businesses.
While established businesses have sufficient resources to spend on advertisement, promotions and corporate social responsibility, new businesses have limited resources and thus cannot afford such initiatives.
As a start-up, you will have to devise means to survive the onslaught of more established competition. At the outset, don’t be deterred by what the more established businesses are doing. Stick to your plan. In any case, this is what you set out to do. Analyse your marketing strategy and price estimations that would easily give you an edge.
Don’t pursue big and expensive adverts and promotions. Record your advertising expenditure and how many clients you are attracting. Word of mouth and flyers as advertising tools can really work.
Avoid smear campaigns against other businesses. Be positive and open to ensure clients to appreciate your work.
As a new business, your interests in the market may actually differ from the established businesses.
Although you are all competing for the same clients, as a start-up, the main objective is to create awareness about your services/ products.
Established businesses focus on customer retention besides attracting more as well as increasing sales. They also have brand loyalty. It may be difficult to compete with them on the basis of pricing because they can easily alter their prices.
Therefore, you must be aware of your competitors’ pricing strategy and quality of their brands
From this, you may either set your prices higher or lower but ensure that you have strong reasons for this. Recognize the value of the price you set as clients tend to always be driven by quality.
Review all unnecessary expenditure. Is it worth employing workers? Is there any way you can reduce some overheads? What about operational costs like office, use of cars that may not add value to your business?
To shield your business from ebbing into oblivion due to competition, avoid accumulating loans and non performing debts (bad debts). Calculate every cost you incur in attracting a new client. Don’t use much money in attracting clients if they are not resourceful to your business.
Lastly, create a foundation for your business. Generate a slogan and a vision that people would identify it with.
Contact email: Dias.nyesiga[at]newtimes.co.rw