Start up business challenges of ISVs - Competition

As mentioned in the introduction competition should not get the full attention but shouldn’t be forgotten either. In this article I will give you some guideless to stay ahead of the competition.

Published: 14 October 2020

As mentioned in the introduction competition should not get the full attention but shouldn’t be forgotten either. This article is the last one in the series Startup business challenges for ISVs. In this article I will give you some guideless to stay ahead of the competition. 

A quick checklist, please use this article as a beginner’s guide to secure the competition. 

  • We know our strengths 
  • We differentiate our solutions 
  • We engage with our customers and value them 
  • We differentiate our offers
  • We are solving the customers challenges 
  • We constantly are improving 

To become a successful business, you need to find ways to stay a step ahead of your competition. It is important to understand what your business is and what your expertise is. The better you know how you can differentiate and understand why you are unique, the better you can drive your marketing and value proposition and outnumber the competition. Part of this is also understanding the competition and what they are doing. 

To attract customers, your company needs to have a clear message. Customers want to know how you can solve the problems they are facing, and that is how you will win their business. Make your customers happy and serve them as you would like to be served. Part of this is listening to your customers, ask for suggestions, consider the ideas and assure that you’re hearing them out. This could even be your competitive edge, what will make your brand endearing to customers.

If you know your customers, you will better understand their needs. The better you know your customers, the better you will find potential energy from customers and winning new business. And don’t forget about customer service. Amazing customer service is more than just words on a piece of paper. It’s about an attitude that needs to disseminate across the entire organization and everything that your business stands for. Remember, the customers are central in all my articles and again here.

How do you know your business is different from your competitors? You can use a busines model canvas to make a draft. We will discuss this during the value proposition article. Building your busines on innovation will help you be faster than the competition. Someone who will be the first in changes, innovation, and improvements of all business processes will become better than the competition. It’s better to be a leader than a follower.  

If you build knowledge into everything you do, you will always be one step ahead of your competitor, I.e. if you train your staff and believe this is an asset, it will result in the power of the business.  Training is a strategic competition weapon. Also look after your staff to be happy, listen to your team when they tell you what they need to be happy, not what trends think they need. 

Another topic could be the pricing, as I am writing an article about it, it can be one of the easiest ways to beat your competition. To determine the ideal price point, you need a clear picture of what your competition's goods or services are priced at. Research which competitors offer the best value. Then you need to determine if what you are offering brings more value to the table and thus should be priced higher.   

However, if beating your competition is your primary pricing concern, opt for a competition-based pricing strategy. Using this strategy, you ignore product costs and consumer demand. Instead, you focus on the existing market rate for your products or services. You then set your price to fall within the range of prices that your competitors offer. Surveying your competitors' prices may only take hours and generally requires less time than other competition-reducing methods. On the other side you can also focus on driving more value.

Your success in differentiating and be in front of the competition comes with a set of decision you need to make. There is no one size fits all model here, the most important is to listen to your customer and involve them in your business. The better you listen the more successful you will be. 


Interested to learn more?

If you feel up to learn more about business strategy related topic, we are hosting a webinar again in November. To learn more, check out here.