One of the stressful things about running a business in Nairobi, and elsewhere in Kenya, is that there are other entrepreneurs who want your customers. Why can’t they get their own? Haha.
Dealing with business competition requires that you do two things. First, you should remain open to being experimental. The solutions of yesterday will work, for you, but they’ll only give you the results they achived yesterday. If you want more, you’ll need to be brave and journey to the paths less trodden.
The other important thing is to know what kind of competition you’re dealing with. They are not the same and are not equal. Broadly, there are two types of business competition. There is direct competition and indirect competition. What are those? (I watched Black Panther, and didn’t like it). We got precise definitions from Business Dictionary.
Direct competitors are the other entrepreneurs selling or making stuff same as you and target the same market. It happens all the time when we Kenyans compain about how “people copy ideas.” This type of business competition is defined by price competition. You just have to be cheaper to customers. If you want to avoid it, you can innovate to improve your products. Or collude with competitors in a cartel like our TV stations (c’mon, everyone knows that’s what they do!).
Indirect competition is even harder to deal with. What do you do when another entrepreneur targets your customers but offers products, services different from yours? If you open a coffee shop and I open milk bar, who do you think will win? Customers can only drink so much of each. This type of business competition is solved by strategies that will retain customers.
I’m sure you hear people complain about ditching that sim card, that internet service provider or pay tv company (I’ve not mentioned names, please). They never do. Why? Switching has been made too inconvenient. Do that.
Check out our HerBusiness Infographic simplifying types of business competition: