What do I do when someone opens a business just like mine?

You’ve spent months, perhaps even years, creating your delicious offerings and making them fly when, all of a sudden, some new kid rocks up doing the same thing.

What do you do?

business idea.jpgWell, obviously, you have an endless list of options.

(NOTE: I’m assuming this business is not impinging on copyright nor stealing anything that belongs to you in this post)

Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do when someone opens a business just like yours:

1. Don’t set out to destroy this new person.
Whilst you may feel like screaming “Bring it on bitch!” as you put on your best fighting gloves, going out to take someone down will hurt you, and your business more than words can describe.

2. Don’t take it personally.
When your business is your baby that you’ve taken through all the developmental milestones you need to be honest with yourself and accept that, there is no such thing as an original idea and no one can rock your business the way you can. (Psst! Chances are there’s more than enough room for you both in your market.)

3. Don’t try changing your business to compete directly with them.
They might be coming into the market cheaper than you, let them – don’t use this an excuse to drop your pants on your prices. Don’t fall into the trap of being reactive to their moves in the market as this will only distract you as you’ll be paying more attention to your competition than your own business plans and goals.

Ok, so what should you do when a new business moves in on your turf?

1. Remember what your business is all about (and celebrate your differences)!
You have grown your business to what it is today. You’re rocking your own voice, your secret sauce and probably have carved out a cosy niche for yourself. Look at your achievements, praise etc … know your worth and make sure your target market are aware of these.

2. Think of it as a great opportunity to up your game
All too often we get comfy – you get lazy with launching new things, or promoting things you’ve already created. You stop actively pursuing that 3rd party attention you so desperately crave! This is actually a great opportunity for you to revisit all your plans and ideas to see which ones can be implemented and which can filed away.  Whatever you do, make sure your plans are based solely on what your business NEEDS not as a knee-jerk reaction to the new kid on the block.(I just had a long conversation with a client based on exactly this, she wailed “But, I can’t make the same collection as she has for the same price without losing money, what do I do?” my response was “Why would you make them anyway? It’s not what your customers expect from you”).

3. Remind yourself that there is plenty of business to go round.
Ditch that poverty mindset where you feel that there isn’t enough money or business to go round. Chances are, if your new “competition” is cheaper than you that their customers/clients aren’t yours anyway!

Have you ever had someone start a business that’s almost identical to yours? What did you do?

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11 Responses to What do I do when someone opens a business just like mine?

  1. yes Yes YES! Love this Ameena 🙂

    First of all, it’s impossible for anyone to completely emulate the unique spark we are here to share with the world. That said, we all get a little scared/nervous about competition from time to time and your beautiful points are important for us all to keep in mind. Especially that there is room for us all 🙂

    Hugs and love, you’re fabulous!

    Robin

    • Thanks gorgeous! I think it would be strange to feel nothing at all when someone comes along doing the same thing as you but, as you said, it’s important to remember what makes us unique and to accept that there’s more than enough room in the pond.

  2. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    The best revenge is a life well-lived.

    So much of what is wrong in the world stems from a subtle flaw in the general business mentality – comparison to warfare. Any focus on “the competition” is a reduction of focus on the customer.

    I say let the shills do their thing. While they compete for ever-smaller slices of the pie, a focus on delivering exceptional value and remarkable service to the customer ensures you keep the lion’s share of any increase in pie size.

    See also: Hanlon’s Razor. 🙂

  3. You are right Ameena. I believed competition in marketing is good for every business because,it always keep one alert seeking or looking for new strategies to sell or market ones product or service.

  4. Ameena,

    On several occasions I’ve had this happen to me. Here is the keystone thought…

    “They can never be you.”

    Our audience turns into clients because of who we are the way we do things. We have to give our audience the credit of being able to tell the original from the impostor.

    Very few of us are working in a zero sum game.

    Keep doing you.

    Hanley

    • Yes, “keep doing you” – it’s so true – no one can ever be a better version of you! Being confident that you are delivering something that is high quality and authentically yours will save you the heart ache of second guessing yourself when the competition comes knocking – it maybe a slightly idealistic stance but we can only try!

  5. Morning! just tried to join your mailing list on your link below but got a message saying your link was not active?! Is it not set up yet? Perhaps you could let me know! Many thanks.
    Sue

  6. Sweet baby lettuce!! (As my friend, Tea Silvestre, the Word Chef, would say) 🙂

    The last time I checked, the globe is still pretty big — plenty of room and opportunities for every business owner to shine in their own right and with their own personal flair.

    It’s easy (and normal) to want to get caught up in what others in your niche have to offer, but it’s really a waste of time. I don’t believe anyone really has competition. Why? There’s only ONE of YOU. 🙂

    Thanks for a delightful and encouraging post!

  7. Hi Ameena,

    Although this hasn’t happened to me yet I do know that there are a lot of people out there that do and share the same type of stuff that I do. We are all unique individuals and we all have our own voices.

    The way I share something and you’re able to connect with me may be different then the other person. It’s not that I know more or am better but you prefer learning from me more. Amen to that is what I’ve got to say.

    It took me awhile to realize that there’s plenty of room for us all because I know a lot of people in this industry now but I don’t want to learn from them all. It’s not just about the offer either, it’s about my connection with that person. That’s just huge to me especially if it’s consulting or some type of training.

    Love this post and you are so spot on. I’m sharing this one for sure because I have a friend who has been concerned about this same thing for awhile. I think I got her past that way of thinking but it never hurts to hear it from someone of your stature.

    Have an awesome weekend and thanks again.

    ~Adrienne

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