3 Strategies For Dealing With Startup Competition

3 Strategies For Dealing With Startup Competition

– Today I want to talk about competition. If you’ve started a company or you’re growing your business
and every time you share with other people your
idea about that business, they start suggesting everybody else like, “Oh, have you heard of this company, “that company, et cetera?” Don’t worry because today
I want to talk about the idea of competition,
how to deal with it. When I started Clarity, I
mean, right out the gate, so Clarity is a marketplace
for business advice, right, so as soon as we
launch I started getting emails from people
saying, “Have you heard of “this company,” you know,
linking up other companies and I essentially saved a
list of all the different companies that they were mentioning. I have an Evernote file
with over, at this point, three years later, 185
companies in this space, similar ideas, whatever, and
the way I look at it is this I don’t know if you know
this but 98% of businesses fail in the first five years. So here is a crazy idea. If you do nothing but survive
over the next five years you will do better than
98% of those people. That list of 185 competitors,
I mean, every year I kind of look at it
and check it and I mean, 60% are already dead, a lot of them have pivoted into other
businesses, and it just really doesn’t matter so what
I want to do is suggest right off the bat, most
of your companies are gonna die so get into a
don’t-die preservation mode. It may sound crazy but think about it. If you can just run more
efficiently, smarter about your business, not
try to do things that’ll cause you to run into a major roadblock that might cause a
fatality in your business in regards to it progressing onwards, you will do better than 98%
of the other businesses. The other thing I see when
it comes to competition is people, they see their
competitors do X, Y and Z and they think, “Oh my gosh, “I gotta jump quick to do that.” Here’s what I want to teach you guys is most of your competitors
know no more than you about what’s gonna work,
they’re just trying things. Trust me, because I’m that guy. You know, when people
see what we’re doing at Clarity they’re like, “Oh
my gosh, that’s such a “brilliant idea, I gotta
do the same thing.” And I’m like, “I don’t even
know if it’s gonna work.” I just did this because
strategically when I think through the stuff we should work on, that makes a lot of sense
but at the end of the day, just because somebody announces something doesn’t mean that it’s a smart thing, that it’s gonna work and that
you should be copying it. The suggestion I would say instead is just talk to your customers,
have a crazy maniacal focus on interacting with your customers. I do this thing called Smile
and Dial every Thursday, I go through and I try
to talk to five or six new customers that
signed up for our product and I’ve been doing this for every company I’ve ever started because
the best feedback I’m gonna get is not by watching what my competitor’s doing, it’s
by talking to my customer and the third thing I’m
gonna say is continuously focus on building an amazing team. Again, your first 12
employees is a belief I have. Your first 12 employees will dictate success in your business. That has nothing to do
with your competitor. It’s something you can
control, building that amazing team is something
everyday you can decide. We need to hire somebody in this area that we’re missing a bit of capacity, and that’s something you can do. I mean, focusing on your
competitor is just such a waste of energy and time because it really doesn’t matter, there’s nothing you can do to control what they do. You can really just
focus on your customers, your team, and not going out of business because if you do those
things, you’ll have success. I hope you found this video useful. I’d love to hear from you below. Leave a comment with the
biggest takeaway for you. If you’ve ever had competition,
you’ve had to deal with it. Leave me a comment below, let me know how that worked. I want to challenge you
to live a bigger life and a bigger business. I love doing these videos and I hope to see you next Monday. Have a great day.


17 thoughts on “3 Strategies For Dealing With Startup Competition”

  • Chirag Kulkarni says:

    What about starting a business where a competitor is already in the space, but isn't executing to the ability or at the level that you think they should be executing at? Does that mean the business is not worth starting? 

  • Richard Cinta says:

    Hey Dan…Richard from Texas…nice meeting ya a few days ago in SD.

    I like your advice.

    I look at competition in 2 ways.

    If I strive to be the best…then there really is no competition…. (that can keep up with me).

    The deals that I lost I figure out why and hopefully never let it happen again.

    My competition is there…but like you said…I know that 95% won't be there next year..so I hardly ever worry about them.

    And the 5% that last longer..I absolutely love.

    They are the ones that I preverbally drag race with…and it's fun to see who wins a deal…and thru challenges..and racing with them…of sorts..makes me better…sharper and faster..with what I do best.

    And if I gave it my best and still lose a deal…I truly am happy for the other guy..but I never forget the lessons and do it better next time.


  • Blake Folgado says:

    This is a great video & advice.

    I always check for anything which can be seen as a future competitor, it is a great source of motivation to know other people have risked it to try and achieve success. For me its about making sure we constantly move fast with as much feedback as possible at every decision.

    Have the list too, every week I check which to keep as a green (alive) or red (dead) field.

  • Thanks for point on Talk to Your Customers for new ideas; I've heard it before and mentioned it to my partners – and it's good to hear from somebody else the same point.  Panicking because a competitor is copying us, or has an idea and we think we should do it too, is not as good as hearing from a customer who tells us his/her real need and finding that we respond and add such to our offering.

  • Gibran Registe-Charles says:

    Thank you Dan! I so needed to hear this. My start up has already 15 new competitors, in the same space, all fighting for the same clients and the same VC funding…..

  • speaking to customers works better above all else, than wasting your time coping or spying your competitor…way smart Dan.

  • Hi Dan, thanks for putting this out there. I am a small 2 man operation at this point and my competition seems to beat me on price alone and I don't think the customer is understanding the level of skill I have and the amount of jobs I do with 0 Callbacks for years! Why is it that people choose on price alone? As I am typing this I think there could be several answers here. my Website: www.MalibuGlassMI.com Your thoughts?

  • Noreen Whiting says:

    Thank you so much for this video, I really needed to hear this – I have been in business for 10 yrs – got some people in competition – start ups that know me and my business, so time to dig deep – look inward to my my business not outward, so agree.on the button

  • I wanna startup an app its a great idea thou there is another person has not yet publish completely the app and the way i see it has the similar feture as one which a wanna create what can i do

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