Your Competitive Advantage in an Overpopulated Market
You've probably felt that fear of wanting to do something but because of the large amount of people doing the same thing you think it may be hard or impossible for you to survive and so you shy away from it, thousands of people go into business every day and some markets have become highly competitive because of the amount of people in such markets, while this may be true, is it then possible to thrive in a saturated market ? Emphatically Yes. A saturated market is an evidently thriving one i.e the fact that a market is saturated shows that there are lots of opportunities up for grabs all you need is a little innovation here and there and you'll do just fine because unlike an unproven market in a saturated market there are clear roadmaps about where opportunities lie, in this article I would be discussing five ways to be on high demand even in a market where the players are as much as the waters in the Atlantic.
- Unique Selling Point popular known as USP, you've probably heard entrepreneurs use this word USP. okay imagine Chim Kardashian is hawking okpa in oshodi market Cardi Bianca Ojukwu and thousands of other people hawk okpa in the same market, if Bianca decides to shake her bumbum in order to attract customers, Bianca would be said to have discovered and utilize a USP no doubt she will attract more buyers because by adding dancing and maybe a little Nigerian music to her marketing Bianca has stood out from her competitors who just go around doing the usual hawking and shouting. Unique Selling Point (USP) refers to the uniqueness exhibited by a company, service, service provider, product, or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors. In a saturated market the importance of your USP cannot be over emphasised one must study ones competitors understand their shortcomings ( try however not to pay too much attention to competitors but do not neglect them), know what your competitors are doing right and what they are doing wrongly then think of ways to do it better and differently, your USP is how you stand out imagine driving down a street in Sokoto and there is this fulani man about to lead his herd of cow about 200 of them across the road and in their midst there is a purple cow it would definitely grab all your attention and for the next few seconds you won't even consider the remaining 199 cows because of one cow that has defied normalcy you would wonder how come the cow is purple because you are not used to seeing purple cows, if you make your business the purple cow in the midst of the herd it will attract the same kind of attention.
- Customer Service: First learn to turn your customers into loyal fans let them know you are first interested in their satisfaction even more than the money they'll pay, you realise your customers are actually the ones who put food on your table, pamper your customers treat them with respect, it is easier to get someone who has payed for your goods or service before to patronize you again and again than to get new customers but if you don't impress them on their first time they might not come back, your customers could be great ambassadors of your business if you are good.
- Niche : this one is very important to succeed in an overcrowded market think about it everyone is doing everything what if you decide to take a small fraction of what everyone is doing and be very good at it, you've probably heard people say create a niche for yourself or specializing is key, yeah it is the master key that is how you become the go to guy in a specific area of a very big market, take for example the cake market there seem to be a Baker in every family the market is in fact a very saturated one what if you decide to specialize in making cakes for old people and people with diabetes who are minimizing their sugar intake these people probably were one time cake lovers but for the adverse effects of sugar in their body system they stopped eating cake there are millions of old people and people living with diabetes in Nigeria and the cake market may not cater for them enough, Another Example is fitness training another very saturated industry have you ever thought of specializing as a fitness trainer, you could decide to take a small fraction of the people who often need the services of a trainer and cater for them for example Pregnant women, or mothers who have just given birth and are looking to get back in shape, as a Digital Marketer what if you took your time and studied digital marketing for wellness and healthcare you would soon have all the hospitals in Nigeria and other healthcare service providers begging to hire you to promote their business online. As overcrowded as you choice market maybe there are loopholes that you can create a niche around there are people who are not properly catered for in the general market there are people who only patronize your competitors for want of a better (more specialised) option.
- Price: Price is a very important factor in any business no matter how good your business may be if you don't have good pricing you may not be able to keep the business afloat don't just fix a price because someone is selling at the same price apart from your production cost there are other factors that an SME must consider before fixing a price he/she must first consider environmental factor if your business is in Ojuelegba and most of your clients are from Ojuelegba, Oshodi and Ikorodu you can't be pricing your goods or services at the same price with the guy in Lekki whose has majority of his customers from Banana Island, Victoria Island and making up his clientele are the cream dé la creame of Lagos, another thing you must consider under pricing is, your sphere of contact who are your connections, if Bill Gates decides to sell shoes today his patronizers would most likely be his billionaire friends who would be willing to pay more than your regular non billionaire friends, and lastly under pricing is Discount; offer discounts but make sure your customers are aware of the original price so there are no discrepancies when you decide to remove the discount.
- Consider turning your competitors into clients: If the market is big it is overcrowded there are many people supplying the same goods and services and you don't think you can survive in it then you should consider supplying the people who would have been your competitors in that overcrowded market if your market is cake baking and you are discouraged because of the millions of people who are already in the industry then you should pause and think, what do bakers need? Flour ! then instead of joining the competition you can also be a key player in the industry by supplying flours, baking powder and others by so doing you would be turning people who were supposed to be your competitors to customers. It is possible that everyone in your industry is so interested in the production of the actual goods or service that they often forget the materials that makes it possible for such goods or service to be created in the first place and right there is your advantage.
Competition is the soul of business, in a saturated or overcrowded market there are many competitors and your ability as an SME to compete wisely is what sets you apart and above your competitors business people often make the mistake of ignoring competitors I hear people say I am my only competition I strive to be better than I was yesterday well that is not true in the world of business if all you do is strive to be better than you were yesterday your business might just be heading towards bankruptcy and if you are lucky those who strive to be the best in the market would be willing to buy up your business, maybe life is not about competition but business is about competition and you can't afford to overlook that especially in a dense market.