Dear Aunty B,
To make a long story short, I left a large hopeless corporate, took a niche that they were ignoring and set up a successful business. For years I have been able to rely on their arrogance and short-sightedness and now we own a category of the market and have swiped millions in revenue from under their nose.
I have just heard that rather than being a pimple on their arse I am now viewed as a serious competitor and they are going to come after me.
They are huge and I don’t want a big hairy gorilla on my tail! Help!
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We all have big hairy gorillas sniffing around our bums. But hold your nerve and look at your competitive strengths.
To be in the strong position you are in, you have put in place good IP protection, you have a good risk strategy – and best of all, you have done two things really well that they can’t do:
1. Your key leadership team is leading your employees who have the right processes and systems in place to support them.
2. You are exceeding your customer’s expectations. You know what your customers want, you understood what they expected from you and then you have over delivered again and again. This has given you recurring customers which lowers your cost of sale. And of course, you have been able to use your return customers as case studies.
If all that is in place, then feel more secure.
You also know what they intend to do. So go and shore up all your customers. I always find a bit of bad mouthing of a potential competitor done in a very nice way, can be helpful. After all, you are looking after your client’s interests. Make sure your people are secure, paid market rates and love working for you. Gear everyone up for the battle.
Lastly look at the marketplace, block off any points of entry and think about sidestepping into new markets where they will find it difficult to follow.
Enjoy the challenge. Great small businesses always win out.
Your Aunty B
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