Dear Aunty B,
I started a small website two years ago. It is going really well and I have enjoyed every second of this wild ride. Plus I am the only entrepreneur I know who can sleep at night, without worrying about going broke. But I have just found out a gorilla of a competitor is about to emerge. Suddenly I feel very exposed, nervous and unsure of the future. What should I do?
I am afraid, Sleepless, NSW, that you have been enjoying nights of peaceful slumber under false pretences.
From the second you launched, potential competitors have been online, circling like vultures, probing at your weaknesses, copying your strengths, looking a how to rip off your idea and drive you to your knees.
But it is not too late. So gird your loins and get ready for battle!
First helicopter up, fly around and check out how sturdy your defences are. Your strategy should be clear and straightforward. All staff should be engaged and confidently marching in the same direction – without you micromanaging their every move.
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You should have a clear brand, patents, licences and registered trademarks. If you can’t register the words of your brand, register the look of the brand as a start. Your systems, structures and policies should be in place including secure systems around confidential company information.
Your relationships with your customers should be super strong with your customer service staff lying awake at night planning how to keep them in a daily state of frenzied delight. You have captured your clients through such a tangle of relationships, long-term contracts and loyalty programs it is impossible for them to get free.
The buzz around your brand and the viral campaign remains at fever pitch and you are cleverly using PR to set yourself up as an industry authority and commentator.
Your first mover advantage due to your innovative product is being maintained by constant new innovations that continue to surprise the market.
Lastly your employees know the culture, know your values, feel confident to make decisions that drive the business forward and are so stimulated by the future, they are impossible to entice away.
So now all that remains is YOU. Don’t lose your nerve. Remain cheeky, daring and strong. Pick up a big stick and don’t be afraid to keep poking the gorilla – even if you have to stand on tippy-toes.
What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!
For more Aunty B…
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“Why can’t my logo be purple? What are my IP rights?”
“How can I cope with Gen Y know-it-alls?”
“My revenue is flatlining. Should I export?”
“Is my general manager blokey or sexist?”
“I am 46, web-unsavvy but run a web business. Help!”
“My Gen Y staff want to do a 360 degree and review my performance”
“How can I create a lifestyle with company money without becoming Christopher Skase?”
“My branch offices have an inferiority complex. Help!”
“Do I have to move my difficult staff member on?”
“My legal costs are exorbitant. Do I really need a lawyer?”
“My fellow director is in love with another company”
“Costs are blowing out. How do I turn into a tight arse?”
“What can I do about an employee’s bad breath?”
“What is the best way to ‘move on’ a nice person?”
“Will redesigning my website hurt my Google ranking?”
“My 2-I-C has become a problem? What can I do?”
“I’m feeling old… do I need a business coach?”
“What can I ask a potential recruit?”….