The absolute worst feeling in starting a company? Discovering your brilliant one-of-a-kind idea has been done before…and done well.
But everything can be done better. Right? Entering the market with a concept that already exists is a pretty difficult feat. But some have done it and those that have are proof that it can be done. The key. according to these interviews with the founders The Bleacher Report and Bumble, it’s identifying that one thing that competitors are doing wrong or what they may have missed.
It’s no secret that these two companies have some pretty fierce competitors. Dating apps? They exist in the masses. Sports reporting? The list of news stations and publications goes on and on.
So I thought about them and their experiences while I was reading Inc.’s How to Write a Great Business Plan: Competitive Analysis. That article strongly emphasizes the importance of knowing, assessing and understanding your competitors — current and potential — and developing a plan for how to take action in order to remain on top.
Here are a few important tips and questions that stuck out to me:
What market do current competitors target? Market has been said to be the most important thing to a startup company. So assessing the one that competitors are not only just currently targeting but are succeeding at targeting is essential. That way, you can either identify a new target or try to tackle the most successful one. Bumble was going for a market — mostly women at first — dissatisfied with the online dating experience.
How will your company be different from the competition? Bumble and The Bleacher Report clearly took what they knew to exist and brought it to the next level with a slightly different approach. Bumble reversed Tinder’s approach by making it mandatory for the females to make the first move, and The Bleacher Report took existing sports reporting saturated with way too serious/uptight reporters and replaced that with more relaxed and unique personalities to bring a little more life and fun back into sports.
What will you do if new competitors enter the marketplace? That comes down to the game plan. What to do when the next big thing threatens to knock you down a few pegs?Whitney Wolfe, founder and CEO of Bumble and co-founder of Tinder, said, “I’ll never feel like we’ve made it…when we have one millions, when we have five million, when we have 10 million, oh imagine if we have 20 million and now we’re here and I’m like, you know what? We always need to evolve and be better and try harder and have bigger reach and have better reach and once we have that reach, we need to start over and do it in a better vertical.”
That’s mentality built for success. You should never be fully satisfied with your achievements because that can cause any company to hit a ceiling. Keep pushing to be better and your competitors will always have a hard time catching up.