Google. I’m sure this is the first answer that popped into your mind! Well, obviously, because that’s where we all go with any weird or worrisome questions that we have. Like when we’re wondering if our brilliant, breakthrough startup idea already exists. Well, let’s talk about that a bit, shall we?
Before Google became the phenomenon that it is today, there were already some (major) players in this game. Yahoo (which was the biggest search engine in the early 2000s), Lycos, AltaVista, and Excite, to name a few. But that didn’t stop Google from entering–and taking over–the market! Do you see where I am going with this?
With the booming startup culture that is gripping the world, around 305 million startups pop up every year! In this scenario, chances are that you’ll face some competition no matter what niche you want to build your startup in. you agree with this, don’t you?
Now here’s the thing – You may have poured your heart and soul into fleshing out a brilliant startup idea…. Only to find out that someone’s got there before you! What a bummer. But hear me out–don’t let this deter you! Take a leaf out of Google’s page and take the plunge!
But remember, patent applications are only published in the journal about 18 months after they are filed. Now, this might seem like a lot of hassle. And to be honest, it is. But the good news is – you can outsource all this work to a legal team.
A team of attorneys will help you in two important ways:
They’ll carry out a thorough search to see whether a patent exists that’s similar to your idea
If you have a never-before-seen unique invention, they can file the relevant paperwork to patent protect your idea
A startup incubator is a one-stop shop that is specifically created to help young startups grow. Oh, you knew that already? Okay, my bad! But did you check out the Startup India – Incubation program?
Startup incubators are extremely useful because they have access to a large pool of newly launched startup ventures. So of course, they have vast knowledge about the markets and current trends. You agree with me on this, right?
This in turn indicates that they’ll be able to tell you whether there is a market opportunity for your startup idea. And obviously, if there are other players already in the game. Pretty handy information to have, isn’t it?
But wait! There’s more! Startup incubators can
research the markets and identify the odds you face in your venture
Here’s a tiny description for people who may not know about MVP:
An MVP is your product’s most basic yet functional version, containing only the core features. Compared with a full-fledged product, it takes only a fraction of the time and resources to build. But the returns are big!
Gives you an insight into the market you’re targeting
Helps you obtain real-time feedback from early adopters
Tells you about the best-performing features of your product
Gives you an idea about the direction in which you need to steer your product in the future
In short, validating your business idea enables you to determine whether people will buy your product or service (no matter if a similar product exists in the market or not). Furthermore, it will tell you what your customers think about your product.
It’s pretty helpful information to have before investing all your resources in the venture, don’t you think?
What should you do if your startup idea already exists?
Even if your startup idea isn’t a hundred-percent unique, that’s no reason to abandon it. There is always room for growth and innovation in any market.
You agree with me on this, right?
The point is that building a startup always comes with its own challenges, regardless of the level of competition. In order to succeed in a competitive space, the key is to define and deliver on your unique differentiators.
Basically, find out your USP.
Here are three effective strategies to do just that:
1. Embrace the competition
If you’re trying to enter a crowded market, you’re already aware that you have to do things better.
Investigating the current market may provide you with an entirely new set of ideas. Find out:
What market needs are established companies failing to meet?
What are their existing clients complaining about?
You don’t have to fight shy of the competition in order to succeed. Instead, embrace it (play smart, basically)! You already have an existing market for your product/services. You simply need to put your own unique twist on it.
Really! It’s just that easy!
You can outperform your rivals by using strategies that enhance and add to the existing experience.
2. Provide more value to your customers
The rules are simple: whoever offers better value wins.
Luckily for you, there are multiple ways to boost the value factor of your startup, such as
Going above and beyond to solve a problem for a consumer
Listening to your customer’s demands and incorporating them into your products/services
Providing exemplary customer service that is receptive and responsive to buyer’s feedback
You might also consider providing specialized services to a smaller customer base within a larger market at first.
When it comes to starting a new company, the secret behind success is to provide a seamless user experience. Seriously! That’s like the number one way to ensure that your startup stands out from other, similar businesses.
Here are some steps you can take to build a loyal customer base:
Prepare a blog; get your content marketing game on point – (By the way, did you check out our previous blogs?)
And as I just mentioned – provide exceptional customer service, sto build brand loyalty within your customer base. Sounds good?
Don’t be afraid to make your own name in the business.
Remember: Amazon wasn’t the first online bookstore; Google was not the first online search engine. However, they’ve come to represent the standards in their respective markets. With a brand name and identity that can be recognized instantly.
First and foremost, you need to decide whether it’s truly a problem that your startup concept already exists. Keep in mind that you don’t need to have a completely new product/service to make your business successful. All you need to do is – play smart!
With the revival of free market policies, there’s always space for new entrants. So don’t give up! Your original take on an existing idea might just result in the next Apple or Uber! (Think big, why not?)
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