When you’re just starting out, the idea of breaking into an industry dominated by big players can feel daunting, if not impossible. No matter what industry you’re breaking into, there’s always going to be someone bigger, more established, and (seemingly) better than you.
When the impostor syndrome starts to rear its ugly head, it’s crucial to remember: the benefit of being a small player over a bigger competitor is that you’re nimble and they’re not.
How can you effectively beat your bigger competition?
There are a couple of things that you must keep at the back of your mind if you are to effectively beat the competion in any industry today, these include the following;
Stop putting yourself in the way
The biggest obstacle in our way isn’t our larger competitors, but our own insecurities. The fact is that we are all imposters. All of us. Until we are comfortable with our knowledge of our trade, which can sometimes take an entire lifetime, we’ll most likely feel like an imposter.
The way I got over the feeling is by being honest with myself. If you don’t know something, that’s OK – in fact, it’s great. Success is not about what you know, it’s about handling what you don’t know, because that’s where the mistakes and biggest learnings come from.
Stay curious about the real problems
The essence to breaking into any industry today is to find a problem that hasn’t been solved and do your very best to solve that problem with minimal user input. Learn to stay curious, explore, and come up with new or improved ways to produce the best output you can.
Airbnb, disrupted the hotel market by recognising the need for flexible stays in unique places. Uber recognised that the taxi industry was filled with slow, inefficient, expensive options.
In my case, Cars For Sale came about after I heard time and time again from dealers about extravagant pricing in the car classified space. We took matters into our own hands by building Australia’s most advanced car classified site dedicated to licensed motor dealers.
It’s also vital to stay alert to upcoming shifts that might affect your clients over the long term. In my industry, disruption from the pandemic has impacted all areas of the car industry, from the consumer’s shopping experience to manufacturers. Semiconductor shortages, lockdowns in China, and the war in Ukraine are all affecting the automotive supply chain.
By staying on top of such developments, I’m able to stay nimble and adapt faster than my competitors can. Any business looking to beat its larger competitors should do the same.
Do one thing and do it well
In the majority of cases, simplicity is best. Keep your business model as simple as possible, and don’t try to run before you can walk. Sure, we all have the ability to do anything and everything, but what is going to make us successful is to be the best at one thing first.
Take the ego out of it: remind yourself that your clients will never care about your business as much as you do, they just want a product or service. We sell B2B software and I only recently got my head around the fact that not every business is striving to be the best. Some exist out of necessity and the people who run them would rather be doing something else.
This insight has helped me gain an even deeper understanding of my customer base, and to keep things simple, straightforward, and helpful – without unnecessary bells and whistles.
Sure, breaking into any industry is hard. But if you stay agile, keep your eyes on your purpose and stay curious about what your customers really want, in the end, it’ll be worth it.
Kadir Gunduz is the creator of Virtual Yard – one of Australia’s fastest growing software solutions used by more than 600 car dealers world wide. Kadir Gunduz taught himself to code at age 14 and has since had roles as a senior software developer at advertising agency The Works, before founding the air tasker of online Car sales – Cars For Sale, alongside his previously launched software solution Virtual Yard.