This is a guide on how to kill your competition.  The title may sound violent but trust me, with how competitive the market is these days – you will want to destroy your competitors.  It’s a jungle out there.

Given the small market that is Bahrain, there are a lot of copycat businesses popping up.  One cupcake business opens and suddenly five emerge within the same vicinity.  The Same applies to nail lounges, clothing stores…etc.  The competition is so intense and the market is saturated – it often feels like there are not enough buyers.  Everybody wants a piece of one tiny cake. So how do you, a startup, kill your competition?

1- Focus on your idea

You need to disregard similar businesses already in the market and focus on your idea, start from scratch and set the standards.  Build your business like you imagined it and just ignore the competition. Steer clear from going head-to-head with your competitors and stay focused on your own business.  Aggression gets you nowhere.  Your thinking hat on the other hand is your savior.

2- Research the Market

Once you’ve established your business (either on paper or physically), do a quick market scan and see what the competitors are doing.  I know this contradicts my previous point – but it is important to note this step follows establishing your business and not the other way round.  Learn from their mistakes and spot any differentiators that you can adapt in your business and add to your overall value proposition.

3- Fear Your Competition

Fear them not to the extent that you cower in the corner and tremble, but fear them so that you are constantly on your toes; with focused instincts and sharpened skills.   Fear pushes you to be creative and keep your business exciting enough for customers to keep coming and spread the word.

4- Be Innovative

Innovate to the extent that your competition can’t even keep up with you.  Don’t create your business and then sit back while you rack in the dinars.  That cannot be sustained no matter how successful your business model is.  You need to continuously read up and find new ways to innovate and delight your customers.  They could be little things, as simple as a delicious cinnamon cookie with their complimentary coffee.  Or an essential oil that is always burning in your store and that aroma will remind your customers of you wherever they go.

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5- Invest and reinvest

Finally, it is also important to reinvest in your business.  Aiming for a profitable business is key, but reinvesting in it and constantly bringing the standard up is equally important.  Shiny furniture at opening looks wonderful, shabby furniture 12 months later does not.  Treat your business like your baby – take care of it through regular maintenance, redecorating if need be, and maintain the standard you have set.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with closing for a day or two and completely refurbishing your premises – fresh coat of paint, recovering the furniture, servicing your air conditioner…etc.  When you spend to keep your premises looking good – it shows, and customers appreciate that.

These are a few tips that once applied, will set you apart from your competitors and can even result in you being in a league of your own.  You have killed competition not by eliminating them or driving them out of business – but by operating in a completely different level than they are.

Competition? What competition!

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