I’ve been a part of several companies that have started from scratch in saturated markets and grown very rapidly. In each case, conventional wisdom turned out to be wrong…

  • You do not have to be cheaper
  • You do not have to be “the best”
  • You do not have to take a completely different approach
  • You do not have to be “disruptive”

You only have to be competitive.

Much of the advice you’ll hear about entering saturated markets makes it sound like shooting for the moon. If you believe in what you’re doing, ignore that advice and build your business.

The fact is that most businesses enter markets where all demand is being met by existing supply. That may not be the conventional definition of “saturation”, but it’s daunting as an entrepreneur.

What you do need:

  1. You have to able to get yourself a shot at winning individual customers.How you will do that depends on how buying decisions are made in your business.For many service businesses this means getting prospects to your website and getting them to fill out a form. Now you’re in! You have a chance.(Getting people to your website is a huge topic, but it’s totally possible to do. Feel free to ask me specific questions about this via Quora, but I’m moving on for now…)
  2. You have to be able to win enough of your opportunities that you are able to grow.Does the cheapest always win? No.Does the “best” always win? No.
    You don’t have to be either. You only have to convince the decision maker(s) that you will do an excellent job providing what is required at a price that’s in their budget. This is called “being competitive”.And if you want repeat business and referrals you’ll need to deliver an excellent job for the agreed price – but you’ve got that, right?

My company competes, nearly exclusively, with multi-billion dollar corporations. Sometimes we’re more expensive, sometimes we’re not. Some of our features are clearly superior to theirs, others… will be soon 😉

But we’re clearly competitive. We’re clearly a legitimate option with pros and cons (many more pros than cons, of course 🙂 Can you be the same in your saturated market?

Speaking plainly, the common factor I’ve observed in entrepreneurs that enter saturated markets and succeed is confidence. Belief. Cojones.

I’ve watched entrepreneurs insert themselves into saturated markets and create a place for themselves.

Of course they had an angle, but none of them had an offering that was even 2x better than their competitors. They simply elbowed their way in. They cared only about what prospects and customers said.

They knew something that many people don’t…

  • Your competitors cannot stop you from causing prospects to see/hear your message whether online, in person, in print, phone, whatever.
  • Your competitors cannot stop your prospects from being intrigued.
  • Your competitors cannot stop you from working to win the business.
  • So now it’s up to you. And isn’t that all it takes?

…So don’t be stopped by the false barriers – that you must have a completely different angle or massive innovation or disruptive unit economics. Go reach your market and win.

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Michael Ward

I'm founder & CEO @NetResults, the 1st choice of people buying marketing automation for the 2nd time.