One of the keys to success on the Internet lies in knowing your competition. In this way, operating on the Internet is no different from conventional life and certainly to start a business on the Internet without knowing your competition is unthinkable – to any professional web marketer!
After all, you are unlikely to start a conventional business anywhere, selling any product or service, without first carefully checking out your competition. If you fail to do this then your business may be doomed before you even open your doors to any customers or clients.
So, well before opening your shop selling furniture, for example, you would make sure that an established direct competitor was not close by – let alone one that could sell your type of products perhaps cheaper than you. Or if you were a firm of provincial lawyers specialising in litigation then you would be brave to open alongside another well respected and long established company of litigation lawyers.
Ideally, you would position your business within a niche where the competition was low or assailable. For example, it may be an excellent idea to open your shop selling furniture beside a long established furniture shop – so long as you sold what they did not, maybe antique furniture. Equally, it may be very sensible to have your firm of lawyers beside one already there, if you were to offer a different or complimentary service, maybe copyright law or patent law.
Either way, a key to the success of a new business would be to avoid entering a new marketplace as a dwarf facing giants. Success may be possible but would undoubtedly involve a terrific, expensive and damaging battle which you may not be able to sustain (unlike your well established competitors).
The same is true for operating on the Internet and often the failure of web sites is due to them being placed into ‘battle’ as dwarfs fighting giants – with no realistic chance of success from the moment they are set up.
So, how do you know what your potential Internet competition is? How do you find out how strong they are and how do you investigate them?
Well, surprisingly, this is easily done and is something that we show you in The Laptop Entrepreneur together with illustrating some excellent software packages such as Market Samurai that are user-friendly and specifically designed to help you – the non-techie.
Without doubt, knowing your competition and avoiding a head to head battle is essential for anyone involved in e-commerce. In fact, once you know the strength (and weakness) of your competition you can do what all great generals do – and outflank your competition. That is something that will bring you success on the Internet (just as it does in conventional life) and can be very rewarding!