Making choices in a competitive environment

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competition

Energies dedicated to this blog have been reallocated to our new daily newspaper, Ontarioconstructionnews.com, a monopoly-busting initiative for some highly regional legal notice ads.

About a month ago, I learned our competitive initiative would face its own, formidable, competition.

(In the rules of managing competition, there rarely is value in identifying the competitor and in providing it additional publicity, so many details here will need to remain vague.)

The new competitor is doing quite well, relatively speaking. About a month after launching, the organization is achieving two sales in a day. Of course, we achieve five to six — or on some days, like today — 15 orders. And the former monopoly still has the lion’s share of the market. As an example, in October, our best month since launching in May, we had record sales volumes, but our market share was still only about 8.5 per cent.

On some levels, the two-sided competition isn’t a problem. Our marketing (mostly direct postal mail, with some email/association and Google AdWords and association/strategic partner affinity marketing) has generated enough sales so that the business is comfortably profitable, even with 8.5 per cent market share. But I still feel anxiety — and spend quite a bit of mental and emotional energy figuring out how to manage and overcome the competition.

Hopefully, these energies are being allocated with some degree of constructive energy. For example, we took some immediate measures to improve our product, and have engaged with IT experts to add other improvements that will take a bit more money and time, but will help us to adapt. And we are continuing our marketing initiatives and these are obviously working — with new customers joining our existing client base.

But I also respect the importance of emotions and sometimes irrational aspects in business and marketing decisions. I need to keep my eyes on these feelings, and do what I can to avoid damage.

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