Competition. Boy, this is a big one for me at the moment.
As a freelance copywriter, finding ongoing work when there are lots of us out there is a huge challenge. And when it comes to my other business, Gift Boss, competition is also rife.
Unfortunately, the gift industry is one of the most saturated industries there is. And as technology makes it easier for budding entrepreneurs to start a business from home, it sometimes feels like every second person is launching a gift hamper or subscription box business these days.
To make sales, or attract new clients, you need to get found. And the more competition there is, the more likely it is that you’ll get lost in the crowd. Unless you’re on page one or two of Google, or killing it on social media, it can be tricky to get the visibility you need to make a profitable business. Or, if you have an advertising budget, it’s a lot more expensive to get your brand out there when there are similar businesses jostling for space.
People say that there are enough customers out there for everyone, and deep down, I know this to be true. But when things are a little quiet, it can be very easy to fall into a negative mindset about how difficult it is to grow your business in a competitive space.
Social media really exacerbates this problem. When I see beautiful photos of gift hampers on Instagram from my competitors, I feel a little pang of anxiety that maybe I’m not as good as them. After all, I don’t use a professional photographer, so my photos will never look as beautifully styled as theirs.
But this thinking isn’t going to get me anywhere. It’s not constructive to throw our hands up in the air and say “It’s just too hard” (even if we feel like doing that sometimes). So, when you’re next faced with a sense of doom and gloom about your competition, what can you do to help you get into a better head space?
As a starting point, here are the three things that I think about to help me make peace with my competition:
I think that it’s healthy to be mindful of your competition, but you shouldn’t focus obsessively on what others are doing. Run your own race, remember why you started your business in the first place and communicate your difference clearly to your ideal audience. And maybe stay off Instagram.
What do you do to help you make peace with your competition?
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