Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide

Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

The Biz Question

I just started a business and I thought I was one of the pioneers and was going to take this nationwide and become very successful. Little did I know, there are many companies doing this. When I got online and started researching, I realized I wasn't the first one with the idea and this let the air out of my sails. How do I overcome this fear of the competition and become a mainstay in the market?

Thanks for your time and advice! Sincerely, Chris

Answer: from our Guest Expert Terri Andrews of The Turquoise Butterfly Press

Dear Chris:

Have you ever seen the grand finale episode of Gilligan's Island where The Professor comes back and invents a cool flying disk meant for personal recreation, only to later see the Frisbee being passed around parks everywhere? Do you think he was upset? Do you think he gave up and entered into a fearful funk? No Sirree Bob! The Professor pulled himself up from his bootstraps, developed a new plan, and tried again and again and yet again.

You and The Professor are in good company. I imagine that thousands of people have tried to market their "one and only" unique product or service, only to find a thousand similes already floating about. But don't defloat your own boat just because you've found that you have some competition in the water. Instead, use them as a testing ground for your business and declare war on those who stand in your way of being the victor in your field!

Fuel The Fire With Their Sticks!

Use the competition as a focus group. Dig into their companies and look at their advertising strategies, prices, and delivery services. How do they market and accept payment? How well are they doing -- do they deliver on time as promised? How do their prices compare to yours? What type of customer service reputation do they have? What are their satisfaction guaranteed policies? Use THEM as a springboard for your own marketing research.

Compare your services and/or product to theirs and see how you measure up. Look at quality, personal service, ease of payment, reliability and accessibility by phone, mail, email, and in person. Do you see a niche that you have over them? If so, use that angle in your advertising. Let your target audience know you're up on the competition in certain areas!

If their advertising campaign is working, take notes. Most likely, they have previously invested time and money into finding the perfect strategy for your particular audience. Use those findings for yourself, and in the end, you'll be in the thick of things with them.

Once you've examined the competition and squeezed out all the details you can, use your competition research and analysis to better prepare you for meeting your clients' needs. If possible, order their information packet or call and talk to an employee. Look for flaws. Perhaps they are unreachable by phone or they will not accept credit card orders. Be on notice for areas where you could provide a much better service.

So Chris, having some competition is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be a strong motivator in fueling your fire to move to the top of your planned! Don't sink your own ship before you even get into the water.. and never, ever take that second three-hour tour! The Professor is still out on that island.

Hope this helps you, Chris!

Terri Andrews, Turquoise Butterfly Press

Have a biz question of your own? Go post it in CyberSchmooz

Meet the Experts


Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2024, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.